We have been featuring the best writers from our writers’ community for their committed contribution to FII, making it what it is today. FII would not exist if not for the passionate and loyal feminist writers’ community that we have steadily been building over the last few years. This March, we feature Hiba Rahman.
Hiba is a PhD scholar in the Women’s Studies department at Aligarh Muslim University. Hiba believes that all humans are equal and she looks forward to working for women’s empowerment and equal opportunity. Some of her popular articles include Patriarchy And Weaving: The Curious Case Of Uttar Pradesh’s Women Weavers, FII Interviews: Ghazala Wahab Talks About Caste, Class And Gender In Islam, FII Interviews: Author-Historian Rana Safvi Talks About Old Delhi And Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb, Women Not Allowed: Bans That Stem From Patriarchal & Cultural Reading Of Islam, Are Women Homogeneous? Chandra Talpade Mohanty On Western Feminist Scholarships and Urdu Women’s Magazines: The History Of Publications That Pioneered Gender-Based Discourse.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Hiba: I am doing PhD in Women’s Studies at Aligarh Muslim University. I love binge-watching, cooking and writing. I believe that writing in itself is revolutionary, and with this vision, I look forward to using my voice for social justice and hope that someday I will be able to make a substantial difference in the lived reality of marginalised people.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
Hiba: I remember coming across the FIIs page in my B.A. program when I was looking for reading materials for my coursework. As a student of Women’s Studies, I was able to relate all my class and canteen discussions — All in one place. Each and every article I came across was researched and nourished. Then in January 2022, I came across an FII post calling for submissions to the Mood of the Month. I sent in my first article and got published. I joined the editorial internship in 2022. The internship was very exploratory and exciting every week, I dug into different dimensions of feminism and intersectionality, and after that, I stayed on as a contributing writer.
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
Hiba: Though I realised it during my graduation, I guess I had this feminist approach from a very young age. I was in 8th standard when I got into an argument with my family over why funeral timing was being determined according to the son’s time of arrival over the daughter’s. My course gave wings to my thought. For graduation, I took Women’s Studies as my subsidiary subject which helped me solve my puzzled introspections. And now, as a researcher, I am exploring and learning every day– different ideas and unique perspectives of feminism.
The issue which is close to my heart is how gracefully it captures the tiniest problems of both men and women, that happen in their routine lives. I find it important because I think to make the world a better place — is through making small changes.
FII: What is your favourite piece on this site that you have written, and your favourite piece on this site that you have read? Why did they strike you?
Hiba: Several articles have enlightened me, but I think my favourite piece among those would be an interview, “In Conversation With Smriti Bhoker— Women’s World Of Urdu Writing” I read it whilst I was exploring the history of women’s Urdu writings. The piece made me realise how important it is to document the history of the dying language, and it inspired me to write my favourite article, Urdu Women’s Magazines: The History Of Publications That Pioneered Gender-Based Discourse.
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
Hiba: I give my head into creating the best out of waste (the waste that usually comes out from what I buy). Else, I can be found watching animated movies, sky gazing, and just laying all day in bed and doing nothing.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
Hiba: I love the diverse, inclusive and standpoint approach of FII content. I like how it provides a safe space where anyone can pour their thoughts and opinions. I am glad and honoured that I am a part of it, and I would love to see it grow more.
FII thanks Hiba for her timely and valuable contributions. We are incredibly grateful to have her as a part of our writers’ community and appreciate her for the deeply informative writing. You can follow her on Instagram.