Contribution of Women to the Persian Language in Medieval India

Document Type : Research Paper


PhD, Department of Persian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.


Patriarchy, it seems today, has always been an integral part of the Indian society. A slight glance at the status of women in India today makes one think that women have always been considered inferior to men. History, however, says otherwise; women in India have historically had a greater role to play and have commanded far greater respect than they do today. It will therefore be justified to say that women are not gaining but rather re-gaining prominence in the Indian society, considering the fact that the idea of women having a prominent role to play in the society is not new to this vast country. The role of women in India has in fact been a ‘loss and gain’ business, with their influence fluctuating from time to time. This paper attempts to examine the contribution of women in the field of literature under the Islamic rule in India. During the Sultanate as well as the Mughal period, although the status of women was comparatively lower than their male counterparts, this period saw some significant literary contributions from women. This paper first analyses the status of women during the Islamic rule in India, and then outlines their significant literary contributions.


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