Urdu research magazine on women, by women

Aditi Nigam New Delhi | Updated on April 27, 2011


It's the first of its kind in India – an Urdu-English women's research magazine brought out by an all-woman team.

Nisa, a quarterly magazine, was launched last week in Hyderabad by the Nisa Research and Resource Centre for Women.

First issue

“In Arabic, Nisa means women. This name is taken from the chapter Al-Nisa of the Qura'an, because women's rights have been explained in this chapter. This is why we have named our organisation as well as magazine as Nisa,” its Editor, Rafat Seema, told Business Line in an email interview.

The first issue has articles on varied topics – an analysis of Andhra Pradesh government's schemes for women, and domestic violence, profiles of diverse women such as Irom Sharmila, the superintendent of a women's jail Bilqis Rehana, and first female Urdu editor Begum Sughra Humayun Mirza.

Seema, who is pursuing a Ph.D in women's studies from Maulana Azad Urdu University, is a B.Ed and has M.A degrees in three subjects – Urdu, Arabic and Women's Studies. She specialises in girls' education in Madarsaas as well as reforms in Madrasaas through introduction of modern education, especially in distance mode.

Muslim girls in high school

In India, the proportion of Muslim women in higher education is dismal. And, those who do manage to reach that level, face an acute scarcity of research material in Urdu.

“There was no such magazine in Urdu. People who research on social issues face a lot of problems looking for literature. The need of a research magazine in Urdu was being felt badly for sometime. To fill this gap, we took this initiative,” Seema said.

Fund flow

Funds were a constraint, she said, but added that content support was flowing in from various sources: Centre for Women's Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, research scholars of Hyderabad University, Osmania University and School of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad.

As of now, the magazine is being circulated all over India and to countries such as Pakistan and the US.


Published on April 27, 2011

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