“Begum Rokeya Day” was observed Monday across the country with due respect as the country observed the 139th birth and 87th death anniversaries of Begum Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain.
The Women and Children Affairs Ministry organised a function at the city’s Osmani Memorial Auditorium on the occasion of “Begum Rokeya Day” and distribute Rokeya Padak-2019.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages Sunday on the occasion of ‘Begum Rokeya Day 2019′, paying rich tributes to the memory of Begum Rokeya.
They congratulated the recipients of Begum Rokeya Padak-2019 and wished a success of all programmes of the day.
President Abdul Hamid, in his message, said, “Begum Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain was the pioneer of women emancipation, social reform and progressive struggle. She managed to awaken women society through her progressive mentality, visionary thinking, logical opinion and analysis and, above all, firm morale”.
She had taken initiatives for spreading female education and freeing the Muslim women from the state of being confined to establish their rights and dignity, he said, adding that defying social obstructions, Rokeya appeared as the harbinger to free the Abarodhbasini (The Secluded Women).
Sustainable development is not possible without the equal participation of women and men, Hamid said, adding under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh, the government is working relentlessly for women empowerment by engaging them in the overall development of the country.
The Prime Minister, in her message, said Begum Rokeya was the pioneer of the successful social movement not only in the Muslim society, but also all over the Indian subcontinent for visualizing her thought of “education for all’.
She (Rokeya) dreamt of enlightening the women folk with the light of civilization and spreading education in women society during the era of conservation and superstitions in the 19th century, the premier added.
Highlighting the government’s different initiatives for women empowerment, the Prime Minister said, “We launched hostel facilities, income generating trainings and daycare facilities for the working women along with introducing VGD, maternity and lactating mother allowances for the poor women”.
A comprehensive programme has been taken to prevent women and children trafficking and child marriage, providing legal aid and to empower women through adolescent clubs, she said.
Sheikh Hasina congratulated all the women who have won ‘Begum Rokeya Day 2019’ for their contribution to women development through their talent and work.
Born on December 9, 1880, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, commonly known as Begum Rokeya, wrote novels, poems, short stories, science fiction, satires, treatises, and essays. In her writings, she advocated that both men and women should be treated equally as rational beings and the lack of education is the main reason of women’s lagging behind.
She died of heart problems on December 9, 1932, which was her 52nd birthday. In Bangladesh, every year December 9 is observed as “Rokeya Day”.