Begum Rokeya Day: Celebrating the Women in Leadership Network in Bangladesh

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On 9 December, Bangladesh observes Begum Rokeya Day. The significance of this day is to commemorate the anniversary of the birth and death of Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (best known as Begum Rokeya), who was a leading 19th century Bengali feminist writer, social reformer and pioneer of women’s education. She is also considered a trailblazer of women’s liberation in South Asia for her enormous efforts to establish gender equality and ensure female education.

On Begum Rokeya Day this year, Australia Awards – Bangladesh is celebrating the Bangladesh chapter of the Women in Leadership Network (WiLN). The WiLN formed in 2015 as a product of the first Regional Alumni Workshop organised by Australia Awards – South and West Asia. The WiLN provides an opportunity for Australia Awards alumnae across the region to connect and support one another with advice and practical suggestions for overcoming any challenges and barriers they face. Various country chapters of the WiLN subsequently formed in 2016. Since its launch in March 2016, WiLN Bangladesh has been a forum for Australia Awards alumnae to assist each other and to engage in collective actions to bring about gender equality in Bangladesh.