National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam believed that anything that was created in the world, half of the credit goes to men, and half to women.
If one agrees with the poet, then literature is also an area where contributions of female authors should be acknowledged alongside their male counterparts.
To support women writers and uphold their contributions, Bangladesh Lekhika Sangha, an organisation for women writers, has put up a stall at Bangla Academy premises in the ongoing Amar Ekushey book fair.
The stall only features books of female authors. There are novels, short stories, and stories for children at the stall.
“We set up our stall every year at the book fair to help women writers publicise their literary works,” said Lipi Monoar, general secretary of the organisation.
Begum Sufia Kamal was one of the founding members of the organisation, established in 1973. It was formed at a time when there was little choice for women to practice literature, said Monoara, also an author and playwright.
Those who have published at least two books are members of the organisation. There are currently more than 200 members only in Dhaka city, while they have branches in different districts of the country, she said.
“We help female writers publish their books from our organisation, and introduce them to publishers,” Monoara elaborated about activities of the organisation.
The stall is showcasing books including “Konnakanini” and “Ek Bhoyonkor Sondhar Golpo” by Shiuli Khondokar; “Bodhodoy” and “Ami Juddho Dekhechi” by Lipi Monoar; and “Rinir Bhubonkhani” by Dilara Mesbah.
One of the members of the organisation, Shiuli Khondokar said, “Such a group helps female writers a lot. It helps us exchange ideas and speak up on women's issues.”
Although she does not believe in classifying writers by gender, she said female writers face many challenges.
Aside from the stall, different publication houses also have books by female authors. From Prothoma publication, books including “Puspa Kuntola” by Maleka Begum and “Alina” by Tanzila Hossain are new releases.
Oitijhya publication brought out “Dhulay Dhusor Jothsnashishir” by Rafea Abedin and “Purush Path” by Nahida Nahid this year.
Besides, books of noted writers Selina Hossain and Anwara Syed Haq are also available at the book fair.