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Akhtar Imam

Akhtar Imam

The basics
Quick Facts
Gender female
Birth December 30, 1917
Death June 22, 2009
The details

Akhtar Imam (1917–2009) was a Bangladeshi educationist, feminist and social activist.

Early life

Imam was born on 30 December 1917 in Narinda, Old Dhaka, Dhaka, East Bengal. She studied in Eden Girl's High School and Intermediate College, Dhaka. In 1937 she completed her honours in Philosophy from Bethune College of Calcutta University. She was awarded the Gangamani Devi Medal for being first in her batch. In 1946 she finished her masters in philosophy from Dhaka University. In 1952 she was awarded a scholarship from the Bengal Muslim Education Fund by the Pakistani Government in 1952 to pursue higher education outside the country. She studied her masters in philosophy at the University College London. From 1963 to 1965 she did further research in philosophy at the University of Nottingham.


After completing her studies she joined her old alma mater, Eden College, as a lecturer. She taught there from the mid-1940s to 1956. She transferred to Dhaka College as a professor. She was the first female professor of Dhaka College and would go one to become the first female head of a department in the college. In 1953, she joined Dhaka University as a part-time teacher of the philosophy department. She became the first female teacher of Dhaka University. On 1 September 1956 she became the first permanent provost of Rokeya Hall, the women's dormitory in Dhaka University.

In 1968, she became the first female head of the philosophy department. In 1968, she was elected general president of the Pakistan Philosophical Congress in its 15th session, the first woman to be elected general president. She was also the secretary and treasurer for one term. She was the first convener of Bangladesh Philosophical Society. She was a member of Bangladesh Philosophical Congress. She served as the president of 'Bangladesh Lekhika Shangha' for three years. She was the president of Hemantika, a charity for the welfare of senior women. She had written a number of books on philosophy.

Personal life

Imam had three children. Her husband died when she was 25 years old. She continued her education with little or no support from her family. Imam died on 22 June 2009.


Imam was awarded Begum Rokeya Padak in 2002.

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