Writing is challenging for women in Bangladesh

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Poet Nargis Akter poses for a photo with her collection of poems Ausamapta Pangktimala at Ekushey Book Fair 2020.

Poet Nargis Akter said that it is challenging for women in Bangladesh to pursue writing as career as women have to face obstacles from society and families which expect them to fulfil traditional gender role.

Nargis Akter began writing poems under a pen name as she was not sure how the people around her will react to it.

‘Though I am a well-established person, I used to write under a pen name because I was worried about social prejudice and wanted to avoid family problem.  I wrote under the name Nodi Rahman. It is not easy for a woman to make a name for herself in our society. I had to overcome many obstacles to pursue my passion,’ Nargis Akter told New Age.

Nargis Akter has published two collections of poems namely Purush Noy, Premik Chai and Ausamapta Pangktimala which were published in 2019 and 2020 respectively.  

‘I have been publishing poems for the last two years. My first book was published in 2019. I express my feelings, thoughts and imaginations which I cannot even share with my near and dear ones through words. My poems give readers a glimpse into human emotions namely happiness and sorrows along with achievement, social anomalies, injustice and others,’ she said.

Nargis Akter, who holds a respectable position at breeding division of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, considers her father as her greatest inspiration.

‘My father was a professor at Bangla department of Government Rajendra College, Faridpur. I inherited the passion for literature genetically. My father wanted me to study literature. Though I decided to pursue a career in science, my love for literature never faded away,’ she said.

Nargis Akter is looking forward to publishing her poems after the situation improves.

‘I have penned a few poems which I will publish if the COVID-19 situation improves. Besides, I am uncertain whether the Ekushey Book Fair 2021 will be held or not. Even if the authorities concerned organise the book fair, it will be very difficult to enforce health directives at the venue,’ she ended.

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