Why it took Kerala so long to recognise the work of a woman editor of 1930s

Haleema Beevi
Haleema Beevi played multiple roles with a single objective—to empower, educate and organise Muslim women | Illustration - Immayabharathi K

“Dear sisters, let’s not hesitate to send your daughters to schools. Prophet Mohammed never treated women inferior to men. We have to unite and demand our educational and employment rights. I hope you know that only the crying baby gets the milk. In our times, even crying babies do not get milk. Hence we have to keep on crying. Those who are educated among us should make use of every opportunity to get employment. We also have the duty to serve the nation. Women should take up employment. That only helps them to uphold their self-esteem.” 

The above speech by a feisty 20-year-old Haleema Beevi, at the Muslim women’s conference held in Kerala’s Thiruvalla in 1938, went on to launch many a small and big revolutions for women’s emancipation. The text of this speech was published in the July......