Did the Bengali Woman Have a Girlhood? A Study of Colonialism, Education, and the Evolution of the Girl Child in Nineteenth-Century Bengal

  • Asha Islam Nayeem


In the cultural context of the modernisation of Bengal, the concept of the social construction of childhood is a useful analytical tool. This is particularly the case when studying the effect of the western education system on Bengali girls. The transition from traditionalism to modernity impacted the life of girls through the introduction of an education system in which the curriculum was based on a designated infanthood and a designated girlhood. The stratification of age groups for different levels of education was a concept absent in the indigenous mode. As steps were taken to extend mass education across gender and class lines, childhood itself lasted longer as enlightened patriarchs allowed their female wards to remain in school until the end of the primary or secondary stage.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asha Islam Nayeem
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

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