Simeen Mahmud, head of Gender Studies Cluster and coordinator of Centre for Gender and Social Transformation at Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) of Brac University, passed away on Sunday at Mount Auburn Hospital in the USA, says a press release.
She had been admitted to the hospital in a critical condition. Daughter of late Mirza Nurul Huda, popularly known as MN Huda, and Kulsum Huda, she left behind her husband noted economist Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud, a daughter and two sons.
MN Huda was finance minister and vice president of Bangladesh.
Simeen Mahmud studied statistics at Dhaka University and medical demography at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She joined Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) in 1974 as staff demographer and retired in 2008 as research director of the Population Studies Division. She was a MacArthur Fellow at the Harvard Centre for Population and Development in 1993.
As demographer, her research focus was on paid work as a pathway of women's empowerment, women's work, status, and fertility, citizenship building and deepening democracy, social transformation in contemporary Bangladesh. She also researched extensively on women's access to micro-finance and the impact on their lives. Recently her research had shifted to gender dynamics in the labour market and social norms around women's work.
Simeen had also extensive field research experience in rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. She was the country coordinator of the Bangladesh work in the 10-year-long “Citizenship, Participation and Accountability” Development Research Centre and the main country lead for the “work” theme in the 7-year-long “Pathways of Women's Empowerment” Research Programme Consortium funded by DFID.
Simeen worked with national and international research organisations and agencies, universities and donors. These include the Population Council (USA), International Center for Research on Women (USA), Institute of Development Studies (UK), WIEGO, Centre for Policy Dialogue (Bangladesh), Planning Commission (Bangladesh), ICDDR (Bangladesh), Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, South Asia Network on Economic Modeling (Bangladesh), Bloomberg School of Public Health (Johns Hopkins University), University of Toronto, Centre on International Cooperation (New York University), Gender Institute (LSE, UK), University of Manchester (UK), and Gender Studies Department (DU).