The Influence Of Sheikh Hasina And Begum Rokeya On The Development Of Bangladesh

This paper explores the contributions of the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and Begum Rokeya Sakhwat Hossain in the socio-economic development. Both Sheikh Hasina and Regum Rokeya were tremendously influenced by the urge of development. So they took their careers as challenging though their careers were different from each other. Sheikh Hasina took serving the country as a political leader. But Regum Rokeya took serving as a writer. Both of them have contributed a lot to the country through their respective fields. The time of Begum Rokeya was a dark era for them in the Indian subcontinent. It was Begum Rokeya who, for the first time, thought that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way. So she dreamt and spoke for the emancipation of the women through her writings. Even she established a girls school for their proper education.

Now a days, the feminist writers sail to explore a new region of women’s rights through their works. In the same way, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasin has taken some revolutionary steps for the women which has changed their ill lots into brighter ones. Now they dream to be established in the society same as the men without any kind of dependence upon the men. Their average economical condition is better than that of the women of Pakistan and India. In this study, we shall depict how Muslim women are provided with better human rights as reflected in Begum Rokeya’s writings as well as the gradual progress of women by the direct and indirect contribution of both Begum Rokeya and Sheikh Hasina. In this study both the primary and secondary sources are used.


Both Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina and Begum Rokeya Shakawat Hossain are two enlightened rescuers for the emancipation of the humanity from the degradation. Both of them were social reformers, prolific personalities, great thinkers and philosophers , committed feminists, determined campaigners of women’s right and freedom, who acted as the leaders and path finders for the back warded women and humanity. They broke all barriers, struggled throughout their life for a better society and led the way to empowering and enlightening the degraded class. If we think about Begum Rokeya Shakawat Hossain we find that most of her writings are full of the inspirations and encouragements to the female world of the then Muslim family. Sheikh Hasin also wanted to seek the emancipation of women from the shackles of patriarchy and thereafter their empowerment through education and economic freedom. So both of them emphasized on women’s education and economic freedom for their emancipation from the manacle of ruthless male-dominated society. Now women are looking forward to shaping their own lives, households, communities, and nations despite the restrictive gender ideologies and practices.

Both Sheikh Hasina and Begum Rokeya Shakawat Hossain have contributed a lot to the country through their respective fields. Sheikh Hasina is known as the Tireless Fighter for the Development of the nation. So she attained success in all spheres of her career. In 1981, upon her return, she became completely dedicated to changing the country from one of violence to one dedicated to democracy. Through this amazingly strong woman’s dedication, Bangladesh has significantly improved becoming less violent, more democratic, and allowing more civil liberties than ever before. She has given importance on her interest in women and children’s rights. This leader continues to strive for a better life for her and her fellow Bangladeshis as current Prime Minister.

On the other hand, Begum Rokeya was born and grown up in such an age that it was full of darkness of ignorance. Muslim women had no liberty both financially and mentally. So she took an oath to change the life patterns of the Muslim Women of her time. She took writing as her weapon for fighting the society. But it was not an easy task for her. She had to face a lot of hardship. Once she wrote about it : I know that it is not easy to rise at the beginning. I know too that society will create a huge fuss about it. I know that Indian Muslims will be inclined to „slaughter‟ us (i.e. condemn us to capital punishment) and Hindus will drag us to the funeral prayer or to a fire of eternal affliction. (I also know that our sisters have no intention to rise.) But rise we must for the sake of society.

Rokeya believed that men and women were created differently, but equally. In her views, the role in which women are placed is not due to Allah's will, but due to men's immorality Sheikh Hasina also believes that a woman is an independent, unique individual in her own right but this truth is almost absent in the attitudes of our society and culture due to discrimination. So they tried to exhibit the actual picture of women in the society through their contributions and wanted to give women relief from discrimination of gender. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has done an immense contributions for the country. As the rewards for those good deeds, she has been awarded many times.

In 1998, she was awarded the ‘Mother Teresa Award’ by the ‘All India Peace Council’.In the same year, 1998, she was also awarded the ‘M K Gandhi Award’ in Norway’s ‘Mahatma M K Gandhi Foundation’. She also received UNESCO’s Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize in 1998 for her contribution to bringing peace through ending 25 years of conflict in Chittagong Hill Tracts with political courage and statesmanship. In 2013 Sheikh Hasina received the Rotary Peace Prize from Rotary International in recognition of her endeavour to promote peace among communities and across the globe. Sheikh Hasina received UN Award for Millennium Development Goal Achievement (child mortality) in 2010 for reducing Bangladesh’s child mortality by 50%. In May 2015, Cornell University of the United States honoured her with a citation in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development of agriculture sector and ensuring food security in Bangladesh. Her other notable achievements include the award for Achievement in Fighting Poverty 2013 from the International Organization for South-South Cooperation, recognition from the Organization of American States for the Digital Bangladesh initiative, and the Tree of Peace Award 2014 from UNESCO for outstanding contribution to promoting girls’ and women’s literacy and education. Sheikh Hasina has innumerable contributions to the country.

Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord: In December 1997, the most significant move of her career was the signing of the ‘Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord’ in December 1997. The peace agreement ended decades of violence, confrontation, and hostility between the government and the tribes of the region.

Rohingya Refugees Settlement: About ten lacs of Rohingyas came to Bangladesh out of military tortures from Myanmar. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave them shelter in Bangladesh. On an occasion to visit the Rohingya camp in Bangladesh she said: ``We want peace, we want good relations with our neighbouring countries, but we can not tolerate and accept injustice.’’.

Increasing Per Head Income: According to the famous journal The Worldfolio, Thursday, Oct 26, 2017, Prime Minister Shekh Hasina has taken a large scale development project for uplifting the way of lives of her country people. “Against all the odds, Bangladesh lifted 16 million people out of poverty in the last 10 years and also reduced inequality; that is a rare and remarkable achievement.” - Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh.

Alleviating Poverty: Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing poverty. The present Government Sheikh Hasina aims at reducing poverty rate at 22 and 15 by 2015 and 2021 respectively. The country has already achieved the targets meant for a hunger and poverty-free society under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Her Vision 2021 According to her vision, in response to the Economic Growth of Bangladesh, this nation will be a middle-income nation by 2021. Another key component of ‘Vision 2021’ is the Digital Bangladesh program, which seeks to transform the country into a digitally connected .Economically, Bangladesh has progressed steadily under Sheikh Hasina-led government since 2008-09. Bangladesh has entered into the Global Economic Zone.

Employment Opportunities: Sheikh Hasina Government has increased the employment Opportunities There has been manifold increase in employment generation and 10% increase in opportunities for self employment and self reliance. Average income has increased by 5.5% during ten years from 2002 to 2012. The New Age, Wall Street Journal, The Economist and many other international magazines have hailed Bangladesh’s economic progress as among the best by any South Asian country.

Foreign Relationship: As a global leader, Sheikh Hasina has been maintaining healthy foreign relations with all the powerful countries including Russia, China, Japan and India. 2016 has been a milestone for Bangladesh’s international affairs. The Forbes magazine in 2016 listed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 36th position on the list of World’s Most Powerful Women. The Fortune magazine places her in 10th on the list of ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’. Because of her success in the foreign policy, she has been successful to sign the Water Treaty between India and Bangladesh on 12 December 1996 in New Delhi in Hindi, Bangla and English.

03 December 2019
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