On International Women’s Day 2018, the Trust pays tribute to the pioneering efforts of Margaret, Ranee of Sarawak, an advocate for women’s education who used her unique position to break down taboos around the education of young girls.
The Ranee was also a patron of traditional local crafts – Sarawak Keringkam and Songket - and it is through her appreciation of these arts that the finest examples have been preserved and will soon be shared in Sarawak, inspiring a new generation of artisans to keep alive the traditions of their forebears. Here, the Ranee is shown in full local Malay attire – Kebaya, Keringkam and Songket of Sarawak. Her hairbrush is inscribed with the Brooke crown, its five points representing the five divisions of Sarawak during those days, and the Jawi inscription ‘Gita’, the name by which the Ranee was known to her husband, and after which Kampung Gita is named.
The Ranee would be very proud of another Gita Brooke, widow of the Rajah Muda Anthony Brooke, who has for more than 50 years campaigned, as co-founder of a UN accredited NGO, for a culture of peace for the citizens of the world.
So, to two women of vision, love and inspirational energy who had always pressed for progress – a very happy International Women’s Day 2018.