Light of Ten
ten people were chosen to be "people of the year",
more often than not, nine of them would be men. Is it
that women don't contribute to society at all? Or is it
that they are not allowed to? Even when they are, are
their efforts not overshadowed by the achievements of
men in our highly male-dominated society?
years ago, <>Fortnightly Anannya<> magazine
was the first to recognise the achievements of Bangladeshi
women in different fields. Because it believed that a
society could not run on the contributions of men alone,
says Editor Tahmima Hossain. It acknowledged the fact
that women have to overcome many more obstacles than do
men in order to be successful, in order to give something
to the society they are a part of and that they deserve
recognition for this.
such women were given the <>Anannya<> Top
Ten awards this year: Selina Bahar Zaman, for publishing
commemorative books. Dr. Hamida Hossain, for her contribution
to law and human rights. Kumudini Hajong, for her bravery
in the Tonk movement. Taslima Mansoor, for education,
the first woman dean of Dhaka University, who studied
law after her best friend was said to have committed suicide
when she had actually been murdered. Rehana Kashem, who
began her business with Tk.6000 as capital and now employs
800 people at Saatrong and gets an annual turnover of
Tk. 80 lakh. Captain Shahana, South Asia's first all woman
flight commander. Roksana Salam, internationally renowned
fashion designer. Shimul Yusuf, who began her successful
acting career with a recitation of "Brishti paure
tapur tupur". Yasmine Kabir, whose documentaries
have won a number of international awards. Aditi Mohsin,
successful Rabindra Sangeet artiste.
a ceremony held at Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium at the
National Museum on April 4, presided over by Tahmima Hossain,
the ten women were handed over crests in recognition of
their achievements by Chief Guest Professor Anisuzzaman.
have always had to overcome great obstacles to get anywhere,
said Prof Anisuzzaman, just as they did when they wanted
to sit for their matriculation exams for the first time
in Kolkata, something unheard of at the time. But today,
women doctors, pilots and others have greatly contributed
to society. Yet, he believes, there are still those who
want to keep women in submission. The evil that Begum
Rokeya fought against still exists today.
awardees received their honours with modest excitement,
but the packed auditorium applauded their achievements
with loud appreciation. Though the awards were individual,
the contribution of the awardees was to the whole society,
said Professor Serajul Islam Chowdhury, Special Guest
at the event. These women would be winners in their own
right, even if they were competing against men, he said.
a society where few people could be looked up to as role
models, the <>Anannya<> winners were bright
examples, said Sultana Kamal, also Special Guest at the
event. Bangladesh may be behind in many aspects, she said,
but its women show endless possibilities. In a country
rife with political, economic and social turmoil, the
women carry on their struggle to survive and to achieve.
Against all odds, they fight away for poverty alleviation
and empowerment of women from their respective fields.
could be truer. In a male-dominated society such as ours,
where women are continuously subjected to harassment and
repression because of their sex, they continue to rise.
It is <>Fortnightly Anannya<> Editor Tahmima
Hossain's goal to spread the light of the stars of each
year throughout the country. May their light find many
more stars in the making that, put together, will bring
light to our ever-darkening motherland.