Noted educationist and activist Rubina Saigol passes away in Lahore

Published August 27, 2021
Scholar, educationist, feminist and human rights activist Rubina Saigol is seen in this file photo. — Photo by Arif Ali
Scholar, educationist, feminist and human rights activist Rubina Saigol is seen in this file photo. — Photo by Arif Ali

Eminent scholar, educationist, feminist and human rights activist Rubina Saigol passed away in Lahore on Friday.

Her niece Nida Usman Chaudhry confirmed to Dawn.com that Saigol had contracted the coronavirus and was under treatment for the last 10 days.

"With profound grief and sorrow, I regret to inform that our beloved Ruby khala has passed away. Please pray for her," Chaudhry said in a tweet.

As news of her death spread, condolences poured in from politicians, journalists and activists who paid rich tribute to Saigol.

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said he was "deeply saddened" to hear of her passing.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) noted that Saigol's "work on gender, nationalism, human rights and education has inspired three generations of activists and academics".

The Women's Action Forum (WAF), of which Saigol was a senior member, too expressed its grief and sorrow.

"She has left a huge mark on us all and touched many lives. [We] will honour her memory and carry on the struggle," the WAF tweeted.

The Aurat March Lahore team said Saigol had been a "feminist giant", adding: "Her contribution to the Pakistani and South Asia feminist movement and thought is unmatched. We will miss her marching among us each year."

While expressing sadness at the educationist's death, columnist Nadeem Farooq Paracha paid tribute to her services.

"A brilliant scholar, she was one of the first academics to fully explore and dissect the impact of myopic ideologies on the curriculums of Pakistan and India."

"The human rights world has lost a great fighter today," said journalist Munizae Jahangir.

Academic and columnist Umair Javed noted that Saigol had been an "author of unmatched, incisive work on Pakistani education, nationalism, and culture, and a tireless activist for gender rights".

"We are undoubtedly poorer today in her absence," he added.

Calling her a "giant of the women's movement in Pakistan", researcher Ammar Rashid recalled that Saigol had "helped a generation of scholars & activists understand the relationship between state, gender & nationalism, themes so central to today's feminist & progressive movements".

"Dr Rubina Saigol was one of the most brilliant and kindest people I met. Big loss to the progressive movement," said activist Ammar Ali Jan.

A prominent feminist, educationist and activist, Rubina Saigol completed her MA in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University in 1982 and her PhD in Education and Development from the University of Rochester in 1989.

Over the course of her career, she wrote multiple research papers in Urdu and English and authored and edited several books including The Pakistan Project: A Feminist Perspective on Nation & Identity and Contradictions and Ambiguities of Feminism in Pakistan: Exploring the 4th Wave.

Opinion

Is it child abuse?
24 Sep 2021

Is it child abuse?

The SNC’s language mix doesn’t address our children’s emotional needs.
The gathering storm
Updated 24 Sep 2021

The gathering storm

The growing US-China rivalry has transformed the geopolitical scene, in particular the Asian strategic landscape.
New realities and challenges
Updated 23 Sep 2021

New realities and challenges

Will the Afghan Taliban entrust to the UN the responsibility of receiving and disbursing all aid?

Editorial

24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...
Dialogue, at last
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Dialogue, at last

The govt has attempted to make the ECP controversial at a time when its input is critical for the poll reforms
AUKUS controversy
Updated 23 Sep 2021

AUKUS controversy

Instead of flexing its military muscle, the Western bloc needs to engage China at the negotiating table.
Provocative act
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Provocative act

Afghan Taliban flags have been found hoisted at Jamia Hafsa seminary three times since Aug 21.