“No country could progress without equal participation of women in nation-building.”– Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah
In Pakistani society, women have struggled for decades to put an end to all kinds of discrimination.
Who organizes Aurat March
Organizations like APWA (All Pakistan Women’s Association) and WAF (Women’s Action Forum) have taken many salient steps like advocating women’s education and economic welfare, and religious and cultural rights.
To this date, feminists are trying to diminish the unwanted consequences of patriarchy;
- discrimination at work,
- lower salary than men,
- domestic and sexual abuse and rape,
- child marriages, and honor killings,
- gender-based violence,
- discrimination of women in educational or state institutions
History of Aurat March
The First-Ever Aurat March 2018
To put an end to this and to make our voices heard, “The first Aurat March was held in 2018 in Karachi; in 2019 the rally has been extended to other major cities of Pakistan”-Daily Times
The first march in 2018 was held on the International Women’s day to globally mark the daily struggles and discriminations, and to honor women for their social, political, cultural and economic achievements.
The march celebrated diversity; women of all socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and gender identities were present.
Not just women, men participated too, claiming that they are supporters of equality and justice, and want to put an end to gender roles.
The Second Aurat March 2019
Aurat March 2019
In 2019, the March demanded women’s reproductive justice, end to violence, economic justice, environmental justice, right to the city, and political participation.
Nearly 5000 women, men, and children participated in the march of 2019.
In 2019, the march will collocate with other cities like Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Hyderabad, Peshawar, and Faisalabad.
“I want a future for myself, I do not want to be afraid of who I am, afraid to live, afraid to exist.”– Marsha
Girls attending primary schools also rode into the march on their little bikes, exhibiting slogans and posters against issues such as acid attacks, honour killings, and physical and psychological abuse.
Aurat March 2020 demands the end of gender-based violence and acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities for men and women, both.
End of sexual harassment at homes, state institutions, schools and workplaces, end of violence against religious minorities and marginalized communities, end to extrajudicial killings throughout the provinces; and the release of all missing persons, increase in women’s share in law enforcement, increase in existing and establishment and destigmatization of Dar ul Amans and women’s shelters.
Reasons why you should participate in Aurat March 2020
a. Aurat March Condemns Violence
Aurat March is a non-violent protest, and non-violent protests are what has freed us from British raj, and are essential to democracy, and the fundamental basis of dissent.
This March condemns all sorts of violence, disrespect, and harassment, on the part of both men and women.
Remember, the march’s aim is to bring peace and solidarity towards women.
b. Aurat March flees for Freedom of expression
Aurat March is about freedom of expression, satire, socio-political critique.
Women are allowed to express their needs, they are allowed to demand justice, and are not supposed to be confined to the four walls of their homes.
c. Do men or don’t?
They equally deserve to have jobs that men do (or don’t), they deserve to be out in the daylight or the night without fearing judgment or harassment, they are allowed to laugh and exist loudly.
d. Breaking Stereotypes with Aurat March
We all are aware of Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar’s atrocity on live television, how he verbally abused Marvi Sarmad stirred anger and controversy all across Pakistan.
This is why we need this march.
This is why we need to raise our voices, so people who think they are entitled to disrespect women or lay their hands on her can be silenced.
This is not just for Khalil Ur Rehman, it is for everyone who ever did such a hideous act.
You don’t have to be a feminist to attend the march.
If you support even one cause mentioned above or any other cause you believe in, you are all the more welcomed. There are no barriers except your own beliefs that might be stopping you.
e. Affects of Aurat March 2020
The more the number of protesters, the more pressure on the government.
The march will be accessible for people with disabilities.
Volunteers will be available to assist physically disabled people, and there will be sign language interpreters on stage. Carpets and ramps will be laid out for maximum mobility.
f. If men are women’s protectors then who are men protecting women from?
The march is proof that you believe in sisterhood and solidarity, that not only girls are there for other girls, but men are also there for women too.
We don’t want men to pressurize themselves into taking care of us, we only want them standing beside us.
g. Is Women March a Right for Equality or stressing fragile masculinity?
If you believe that no one ever deserves to be emancipated, whether a man, or a woman, or a trans or a child, then you definitely should start preparing for your participation!
Everyone has the right to education, welfare, and respect from society, and we want the state to realize this as well.
Aurat March celebrates diversity, embraces men and women from all backgrounds and identities, calls out people who think women should be confined only to the walls of her home, who think they are only an object for pleasure or violence.
We will not tolerate any more discrimination, we will not be silenced anymore.
No matter what part of the world any woman is from, she deserves to be celebrated.
It is safe to say, that my favorite slogan from the previous Aurat March was “APNA TIME AA GAYA”.
Looking forward to meeting you at Aurat March 2020