April 7, 1896|
Lahore, British India
|Known for||Pakistan Movement|
|Spouse(s)||Mian Shah Nawaz|
|Parent(s)||Sir Muhammad Shafi (father)|
Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz (1896-1979) was a politician and Muslim League activist. She was the daughter of Sir Muhammad Shafi. Her husband was Mian Shah Nawaz. She studied at Queen Mary College.
In 1918 she successfully moved the All India Muslim Women’s Conference to pass a resolution against polygamy. In 1935 she founded the Punjab Provincial Women’s Muslim League. In the Round Table Conference of 1930, she and Radhabai Subbarayan were the only two active members of women's organisations nominated to the conference; they argued unsuccessfully for a 5 per cent reservation for women in the legislatures.
In 1937 she was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly and was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Medical Relief and Public Health. In 1938 she became a member of the Women’s Central Subcommittee of the All India Muslim League. In 1942 India's government appointed her as a member of the National Defense Council, but the Muslim League asked League members to resign from the Defense Council. She refused and was thus removed from the Muslim League. However, she rejoined the League in 1946, and in that same year was elected to the Central Constituent Assembly. That year she also went along with M. A. H. Isphahani on a goodwill mission to America, to explain the point of view of the Muslim League. She was arrested along with other Muslim League leaders during the civil disobedience movement in Punjab in 1947.
In 1948 she led a protest of thousands of women in the streets of Lahore, protesting against the fact that a bill encouraging better economic opportunities for women had been removed from the agenda. Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan intervened, and the Muslim Personal Law of Shariat of 1948 was passed; it legally recognized a woman's right to inherit property, including agricultural land, which had not been recognized during British rule of Pakistan.
She was president of the provincial branch of the All India Muslim Women’s Conference for seven years, and also served as vice-president of the Central Committee of the All India Muslim Women’s Conference.
She was the first woman in Asia to preside over a legislative session. She attended a Round Table Conference with Radhabai Subbarayan, and they were the only active members of women's organizations who were nominated to the conference.
She was also associated with the education and orphanage committees of the Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam, in Lahore, and with several hospitals, as well as maternity and child welfare committees. She was a member of the All Indian General Committee of the Red Cross Society.
Begum Shahnawaz had three children: Ahmad Shahnawaz, a medical doctor, Nasim Shahnawaz (Nasim Jahan), who married General Akbar Khan and later became a politician of the Pakistan Peoples Party, and Mumtaz Shahnawaz, who died in a plane crash in 1948 while on her way to the United Nations.
- Aditya Pandey (2005). South Asia: Politics of South Asia. Gyan Publishing House. pp. 21–. ISBN 978-81-8205-303-8.
- Muneeza Shamsie (11 July 2015). And the World Changed: Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women. Feminist Press at The City University of New York. pp. 5–. ISBN 978-1-55861-931-9.
- admin. "Begum Shah Nawaz". Story Of Pakistan.
- Partha S. Ghosh (23 May 2012). The Politics of Personal Law in South Asia: Identity, Nationalism and the Uniform Civil Code. Routledge. pp. 234–. ISBN 978-1-136-70512-0.
- Shireen Burki (22 August 2013). The Politics of State Intervention: Gender Politics in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Lexington Books. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-0-7391-8433-2.
- "Pakistan Day: Women at the forefront".
- "Most extensive website on the famous Begum Jahan Ara Shahnawaz with many historical Photographes and press clipping".
- Father and Daughter: a political autobiography. Lahore: Nigarishat, 1971. Also: Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2002 0195796462
- Cynthia Nelson; Shahnaz J. Rouse (2000). Situating Globalization: Views from Egypt. Transcript. p. 129. ISBN 978-3-933127-61-7.
- Life & Times, Begum Shahnawaz web site, retrieved 23 June 2018.
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