Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Thesis Defence: Violence in Silence—The Plight of Birangana in Post-independence Bangladesh

April 30 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Nujhat Jahan will defend their thesis.

Nujhat Jahan, supervised by Drs. Margaret Carlyle & Deana Simonetto, will defend their thesis titled “Violence in Silence: The Plight of Birangana in Post-independence Bangladesh” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies – Power, Conflict and Ideas theme.

An abstract for Nujhat Jahan’s thesis is included below.

Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Registration is not required for in person defences.


Sexual assault was one of the many violent crimes that took place in Bangladesh during the Liberation War of 1971 which resulted in the nation’s independence. The Pakistani army targeted millions of Bengali women and used sexual violence as a weapon of war against them, aiming to abolish traditional culture and destroy their dignity. In post-independence Bangladesh, these victims were given the title birangana, which translates into English as war heroines. Despite numerous witnesses, the instances of women subjected to sexual violence were not accurately documented. The national narrative of the event remains male-centric. This gap, a form of historical silence, has influenced the lives of biranganas, making it difficult to reveal their personal history in post-independence Bangladesh. This master’s research utilizes an archival method, specifically examining historical photographs, newspaper cuttings, and published oral testimonies to investigate the memories and experiences of these women in post-independence Bangladesh. This thesis argues that the initiatives taken to restore them in society are layered with silences, including the unrecognized sacrifices they made, the economic injustices they faced, and their constant struggles for official recognition. This thesis relates these layers of silence that continue to exist in society to various forms of violence that often go beyond observable forms. Drawing upon the scholarship of renowned historian Michel-Rolph Trouillot, it explores the phenomenon of historical silence while also relying on the insights of Pierre Bourdieu and Johan Galtung regarding the concept of violence. In order to understand these layered silences against biranganas in Bangladesh today, I argue that one needs to understand the multiple forms of violence that they have encountered every day and how the events of 1971 shape their lives.


April 30
10:00 am - 2:00 pm


Engineering, Management, and Education Building (EME)
1137 Alumni Ave
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7 Canada
+ Google Map

Additional Info

Room Number
Registration/RSVP Required
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Arts and Humanities, Culture and Diversity, Research and Innovation
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates