The Aurat march started in 2018 on International Women’s day to emphasize issues including matters tolerated by women in Pakistan. On this day, where women in different countries celebrate freedom and womanhood, women in Pakistan march towards demanding their rights. We call ourselves a free and independent country but how exactly is it a free country for women? Are they given rights? Are they considered equal to men? Has patriarchy ended in Pakistan? Are issues like sexual harassment and child abuse prevented? Has violence against women come to an end? Are forced marriages put to an end? Does environmental justice exist? Has rape and abduction stopped? What about honour killing and the rights of minorities? The answer is NO, while the real question remains the same ‘For how long will women continue to face these issues?’.
Through Aurat March, women can share their stories and because of the #MeToo hashtag on social media, we can witness more similar stories. Aurat March has helped Women understand each other’s problems as well as gained the confidence to stand together concurrently to face this with more conviction. Women have been demanding their rights from the very beginning however Aurat March is the gutsiest and hands down the boldest endeavour.
The movement doesn’t belong to a particular group or class but defends women from every religion and background. We are here to celebrate diversity. It has given the confidence to talk about matters which were kept shut under “Ghar ki izzat ka sawal hai”. We aren’t comparing a woman’s strength to a man’s, it is about seeing both genders equally. No one is inferior to the other. It is not about being vulnerable, nevertheless educates them about their rights and responsibilities. Inequality is the predominant reason for violence against women, furthermore gender equality is a fundamental human right. No one should control and limit their independence. Gender equality will make our country much safer. Aurat March is an opportunity to bring positive change to the country.
The March’s slogans have endangered people who are not in support of the March. Last year, the slogan “Mera Jism, Meri Marzi” was the talk of the town. It was criticized for not solving the actual problems of women in the country more than that regarded as immoral when it means “having autonomy over their bodies”.
Other Slogans includes;
“Akeli Awara Azaad”
“Khud Khana Garam Karlo”
“Consent ki tasbeeh rozana parhain”
“Loo beth gai sahi se”
“Ayo khana sath banaye”
“Betiyun ko parhnay dou, is haq k liye Humaye larnay dou”
and many other powerful ones.
I don’t know why is it so hard to understand these slogans? Or let’s just say it is hard for misogynists to accept that women now know their worth? Even the thought of Women not taking this anymore is unsettling for many people. Majority of men even ladies are intimidated by the word “feminism”. They need to understand that Aurat March is not based on the idea of misandry.
The campaign doesn’t support disruptive feminism. We have witnessed men marching and supporting the movement as well, which is commendable. This is a long fight for independence, freedom, privileges, and rights, we should continue to plead for it. Raising your voice against the issues isn’t going to make you a boisterous girl instead it will bring hope for others. More power to women who came forward and got the courage to speak about their matters. There’s no stopping us now!!