Visually challenged Bangladeshi woman named Suraiya Aktar Bably has recently finished her Ph.D. on ‘Disability and Women in Bangladesh’ at the University of Illinois, USA. Now her mission is to make sure that the women with disabilities don’t get deprived of their rights. Suraiya is also determined to support those women with disabilities to become economically free through livelihood programs.
Earlier Suraiya completed her Masters degree in Philosophy at Jahangirnagar University. She was also the first visually enfeeble student at her university at that time. Later on, she went to the USA along with her husband and one child in the year 2017. Her husband, Md Mizanur Rahman, also completed his Ph.D. in ‘Disability Studies’ from the University of Illinois. Suraiya was enthusiast while pursuing her Ph.D. in the USA but once after being scolded by her supervisor for a few days she decided not continuing that anymore. Later, her husband explained her everything and calmed her down again. Although after the birth of the first child Suraiya became mentally sick due to the postpartum complications and she had to undergo therapy for several days, she managed to finish all her Ph.D. work from home during COVID time.
Suraiya is the first disabled woman in Bangladesh to get a Ph.D. on ‘Disability Studies’. According to the teachers associated with Suraiya’s Ph.D. of the university, Suraiya was the first internationally disabled student to complete the Ph.D. at the university. Suraiya is proud of the fact that despite numerous obstacles she managed to move forward and finish her Ph.D. degree.