The history of Central Women’s College dates back to 1952, when Beggzadi Mahmuda Nasir and Abdul Matin conceived of women’s broad spectrum education. At that time in the then East Pakistan and especially in old part of Dhaka city women’s education was considered almost a taboo because of age old customs concerning higher education for girls. Central Women’s College is a college for women which was founded on 01 July in 1956 at Banglabazar Govt Girls’ High School with only a room or two and a handful (34 students in the 1st year Intermediate class) of girls. Central Women’s College the brainchild of Beggzadi Mahmuda Nasir and Abdul Matin and they both are the actual founders of this historic college though they both humbly disowned the colleagues’ claim publicly.
During the initial and arduous task of the college establishment a few great personalities came forward cheerfully and generously for the greater cause of the Alma Mater. Among them founder members were K B Abdur Rahman Khan, a principal, Prof Dr Fatima Sadeque, a prof of Calcutta University, Syed Azizul Huq Nanna Mia, former minister, Begum Afifa Huq, a philanthropist, Prof Dr Mirza Nurul Huda, a well known economist, Prof Umme Kulsum Siddiqua Huda, Prof Rokeya Khatun, and last but not least Prof Abu Ahsan Abdul Matin and Founder Principal of Central Women’s College, Prof Beggzadi Mahmuda Nasir. Sher e Bangla A K Fazlul Huq, former Governor of East Pakistan and founder Chairman of the College Governing Body inaugurated the college temporarily situated at Banglabazar Govt Girl’s School in the simplest way. Unfolding a saree from the name plate of Central Women’s College Sher e Bangla uttered, ‘I founded Lady Braboune’s College in Calcutta, I’ll form another Lady Braboune’s College in Dhaka and one day this college will be turned into a women’s university.’ But the very birth of the college was not at all complacent. Pakistan Central Govt did not like the birth of an unwanted female child i.e. this girls’ college at the outset. Poor fund of the college threatened the founders round the clock but could not spoil their moral courage and philanthropic goal. The college had to travel like a gypsy just for sustenance. After Banglabazar School, the college made her sojourn to Narinda Shakti Oushadhalaya, then it was conducted at R B Pankaj Kumar Ghosh’s house at Wiseghat near the Buriganga, then to Farashganj Lalkuti, which was earlier the English merchants’ office and later crossing all the hurdles and qualifying in the acid test, in 1966, Central Women’s College got the permanent settlement at 13/2 Abhoy Das Lane, Gopibagh, Dhaka having about 3 acres of land, buildings and the infra structure and above all the students to be imbibed with the ideals and spirit of the college. The galaxy of unsalaried and salaried teachers is thought to be the asset. The then Central Govt, Ahmed Daud of Karachi, G M Adamjee, Sher e Bangla and others extended their monetary hands, and The Engineers Ltd, and the Architect Mr Shariful Alam Imam Ahmed and others came forward by extending their technical hands. The college reached the height of excellence. The college transformed to be an ideal seat of learning for the female students.
Founder Principal Beggzadi Mahmuda Nasir, an old Brabornian, ex lecturer of English of Kumudini College, Tangail and a favourite student of Prof A G Stock of English Literature in Dhaka University worked both in administrative and academic sector day and night with skill and devotion to promote and provide the holistic support to her dear students. Prof Beggzadi and Prof Matin possessor of saintly life led the college in weal and woe and fighting against the social vices and prejudices. During the great Liberation War of Bangladesh patriotic scholars Prof Beggzadi and Prof Matin’s life was under constant threat of Pakistani occupation forces.
Characterized by multiculturalism, humanitarian values, devotion to respective religion Central Women’s College provides a diversified and transformational education to the students from the very beginning. From its humble beginning, it has grown steadily, attained the status of an ideal institution and a lighthouse for both the privileged and unprivileged group of the women in the society. Unlike today’s horrendous widespread use and misuse of money, founder principal Prof Mrs Beggzadi and founder member Prof Abdul Matin opted to be the real teacher and life skill trainer for the students instead of accumulating money by choosing lucrative govt job. Prof Beggzadi worked without salary during the initial days of the ongoing journey of the college and founder member Prof Abdul Matin a great cultural activist, a TV and Radio personality, an educationist, a true friend of students and an old Presidency College alumnus served the college for almost 35 years without taking a farthing till he breathed his last in1986.
Eden Girls' College originated from a school for Brahmo girls (estd in Dhaka in 1873). But Central Women’s College is meant to admit students, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, status and state.
The principal objectives of Central Women’s College are to provide supplementary education besides formal education to the students through guidance teachers, seeking to be a lady with self prestige and enlightenment but very often who lack abundance of money but are positive in outlook.
The founder principal Beggadi Mahmuda Nasir breathed her last on 22nd November 2015 at the age of 87 years. Till the end she acted as the beacon that guided the college.
Central Women’s College adheres to imparting the highest possible standard of education.
The college enables students to appreciate the universal values such as integrity, fairness, and respect for all humans and the environment, and in doing so build a sense of purpose that is driven by these values.
In recognition of its service to the cause of women's education for over almost six decades, the college attained the status and laurel of the best academic institution in 1992 by the government. The founder principal was adjudged as the best teacher in Bangladesh in 1992 and achieved Begum Rokeya Medal and achieved UNESCO crest for her best professional life time service and the list will go on.
Central Women’s College sticks to her motto, ‘Knowledge is Light and Light is Life.’
Founder Principal Prof Beggzadi led the educational movement of women
A good many number of honorary teachers served the college in a befitting way when the Alma Mater needed the rare help. Former vice principal Prof Rokeya Khatun, former principals Prof Ametul Khaleque Begum, Prof Zerina Akter, acting principals Prof Suraiya Begum, Prof I Sufia Khanam, vice principals Prof Manoj Kumar Sen, Prof Luthfunnesa, Prof Qusmrun Nahar performed their job skillfully. Besides them all professors Ajit Kumar Guha, Dr Kamrunnesa Ahmed, Dwijen Sharma, Sushil Kumar Saha, Dr Rabeya Begum, Sultana Razia, Suraiya Hakim, Niyar Mansur, Selima Sultana, Latifa Rashid, Bazlur Rashid, Borhan Uddin, Abul Hossain, Sajedul Karim, Rebati Kumar Chakraborty, Afsarunnesa Khatun, Munira Hasan, Dr Nazma Jesmin Choudhury, Khaleda Afza, Azhar Hossain, Amulyo Kumar Biswas, Dil Afroze, Fatema Mamure Khuda, Zinat ara Shirajee, Fikria Begum, Ayesha Choudhury, Razia Khatun, Jahan Zeb Banu, Madal Kumar Dey, Ashrafunnesa, Mahbuba Amin, Mridula Bhattacharjee, Zakia Ahmed, Ms Helen, Ayesha Siddiqua and the list will go on.
Now Prof Jahan Zeb Akhtar an alumnus conducting the college as the principal in a befitting way while vice principal Afroja Aktar assists her accordingly.