Gender equality in Rokeya's writing
AuthorRahman, Md. Mahbubur
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This thesis looks into the notion of gender equality and its reflection in Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s writing. It analyzes the meaning and importance of gender equality, types, causes and consequences of gender inequality and the recommendations of Begum Rokeya for eradication of the gender based inequalities from the society. In this regard, I have reviewed eight texts from Rokeya’s writing. These are Padmaraag (a novel), Sultana’s Dream (a short story), Abarodh Bashini (a collection of true cases of seclusion), Stree Jatir Abanati (an essay), Ardhangi (an essay), Burqa (an essay), Sugrihini (an essay) and Shristee Tattha (a short story). I have observed that Rokeya’s views on gender equality are more or less similar to the views expressed by modern social scientists. This thesis notes that Rokeya delineated the importance of gender equality from political and development perspectives. This thesis further notes that Rokeya had explained four types of gender inequality: denial of equal social status, denial of human rights of women, denial of property rights of women and confinement. This thesis shows that Rokeya chalked out six causes of gender inequality: lack of women’s education, lack of women’s interest in career, psycho-social complexities in female-female relationships, lack of opportunities, exaggeration in practice of seclusion and male perceptions towards women’s education. This thesis also encapsulates the consequences of gender inequality, i.e., low participation of women in the field of education that ultimately undermines progress/development, as sketched by Rokeya. Finally, this thesis identifies five strategies for eradication of gender inequality as advised by Rokeya: spreading women’s education; strengthening community networks; empowering women; rectifying unnatural practice of seclusion; and getting men involved and changing their perception towards women’s education.