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Five unique women

by Afonso
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‘Begum Rokeya Padak’ is a state medal of the Government of Bangladesh for her unforgettable contribution in the field of women’s awakening. Begum Rokeya Padak is awarded every year on the birth and death anniversaries of Rokeya in recognition of her outstanding contribution to social development, women’s education and women’s empowerment.

This year, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s first female Vice-Chancellor Khaleda Ekram received Rokeya Medal for women’s education, posthumously (Dhaka district), Dr. for establishing women’s rights. Halida Hanum Akhtar (Rangpur district), Kamrunnecha Ashraf Dina for women’s socio-economic development, posthumously (Netrakona district), Nishat Majumdar (Laxmipur district) for encouraging women’s awakening and Ranita Bala (Thakurgaon district) for rural development.

Professor Khaleda Ekram
Professor Khaleda Ekram was the first woman Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering (BUET). In 2014, she became the first woman Vice-Chancellor of BUET. Khaleda Ekram was born on August 6, 1950 in Dhaka. But his house was in Bogra. He joined BUET as a lecturer in 1974, the year after graduating from the Department of Architecture. He received his master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Hawaii in 1980. He taught for more than 40 years. He died on May 24, 2016.

Kamrunnesha Ashraf Dina.  Photo: Collected

Kamrunnesha Ashraf Dina
Kamrunnecha Ashraf Dina was a well-known face in sports. This sports organizer was involved in various sports organizations including Badminton Federation, Women’s Sports Association. Apart from this, she was the president of Netrakona District Women’s Awami League. On the occasion of the 15th World Autism Awareness Day (2022), he was awarded an award by the Ministry of Social Welfare for his outstanding contribution to the development and protection of the population with autism characteristics. He died under treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on June 1 this year.

Dr.  Halida Hanum Akhtar.  Photo: Collected

Dr. Halida Hanum Akhtar
Dr. Halida Hanum Akhtar is a teacher, eminent reproductive and women’s health specialist. She is internationally acclaimed for her research on birth control, breastfeeding, maternal mortality and morbidity, abortion and adolescent reproductive health and nutrition.
Dr. Halida Hanum Akhtar was born in Rangpur. Passed HSC from Carmichael College, Rangpur. Then left for Dhaka. Later passed MBBS from Dhaka Medical College. He has over 30 years of international work experience in reproductive health. Along with obtaining various degrees, he received many awards and honors in recognition of his work.

Ranita Bala.  Photo: Collected

Ranita Bala
Ronita Bala of Pardesipara village of Charol Union of Baliadangi Upazila of Thakurgaon. He got married at the age of 14. She endured severe physical and mental torture for dowry. He received training from an NGO in 2014. 10 years ago Nauriapara Village Development Women’s Organization was formed with 76 women from some villages. About 500 farmers of the area benefited from the training in the Farmer Field School created by him. In 2019, due to Ranita Bala’s movement, the wages of women workers locally increased from Tk 100 to Tk 150.

Nishat Majumder.  Photo: Collected

Nishat Majumder
Nishat Majumdar is one of the five women who have received the Begum Rokeya Medal this year. She became the first Bangladeshi woman to climb Mount Everest on 19 May 2012. Nishat Majumder was born on January 5, 1981 in Lakshmipur. She passed secondary school from Botmooli Home High Girls School, Farmgate, Dhaka in 1997, higher secondary school from Shaheed Anwar Girls College in 1999 and graduation and post graduation in accountancy from Dhaka City College.

Nishat Majumder, who became the first woman to conquer Everest in Bangladesh, participated in the trekking to Keokradong in 2003, Everest Base Camp (17,500 feet height) in 2006. In 2007, he conquered the Mera peak (21 thousand 830 feet) in the Himalayas. Apart from this, he climbed the Singuchuli mountain peak of the Himalayas (21 thousand 328 feet). In April 2009, Nishat participated in a joint India-Bangladesh expedition to Makalu, the 5th highest peak in the world (27,865 feet). He received the Bangabandhu Adventure Sammanna Award in 2020.


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