• NAFISA AHSAN NITU Department of English, Southeast University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • HALIMAH MOHAMED ALI Department of English, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.



women empowerment, resilience, ‘Birangana’ (War Heroine), subcontinental perspective


Currently, women are increasingly assuming the role of catalysts for social change. Nevertheless, this occurrence is infrequent in Bangladesh. In this society, women's empowerment is rarely observed due to its status as a developing country. However, sometimes, we cannot disregard the demeanor of a self-assured individual who illuminated society with their exceptional talents. ‘Mariam’ is a character featured in the novel The Search, written by Shaheen Akhtar. ‘Mariam’s tenacity instills in us the belief that an individual's resolve can transform their circumstances and environment. Emerging from the remnants, she rose as a phoenix. With this perspective in mind, the study aims to engage in a detailed analysis of ‘Mariam’, highlighting how she embodies women's empowerment and makes significant contributions to the advancement of women. Since this region was once a united continent, she also serves as a representative of South Asia. The Subcontinental Perspective of women's empowerment through ‘Mariam’ is illustrated by the similarities between different subcontinents' environments, customs, and lifestyles. The researcher utilizes Feminist theory to support the idea that she opposes all types of injustice against women despite the various social barriers she encounters. This study employs a qualitative approach and utilizes thematic analysis as its research method. The study demonstrates ‘Mariam’s ability to alter the prevalent attitudes of ‘Birangana’ (a war heroine) and regular women. This study examines the portrayal of a powerful female character crafted by a female writer from Bangladesh and explores how Feminist theory has influenced both the character's development and the novel's storyline, thereby establishing her as a noteworthy figure in the context of contemporary society. This study demonstrates women's empowerment and capacity for positive societal amendment.

Author Biography

HALIMAH MOHAMED ALI, Department of English, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.

Halimah Mohamed Ali

Senior Lecturer, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) & Manisa Celal Bayar University, Turkey



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How to Cite

NITU, N. A., & ALI, H. M. (2024). SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN SHAHEEN AKHTAR’S THE SEARCH: A CRITIQUE. Quantum Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 5(2), 35–45.