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Pakistan

March 4, 2019

Why the revolutionary Aurat March stands vital today?

Pakistan

Mon, Mar 04, 2019

Providing a unified platform to women hailing from diverse backgrounds, the ground-breaking Aurat March is back with its revolutionary women-centric movement, scheduled on Friday, March 8, on account of International Women's Day.

A collective effort organised by a group of women under the banner of Hum Aurtein, Aurat March aims to stand and raise voice against sweeping patriarchy that strips off women and other gender non-binary members of the society from access to equal opportunities and rights.

The historic march aims to offer women belonging to every strata of the society with an enabling space and an inclusive forum.

"The underlying reason behind organizing the Aurat March was to put together a larger avenue in order to bring out women in a massive, public order. The idea was to build a movement led by younger women who are now speaking about issues about what is happening in our [women's] context," one of the organizers of Aurat March 2019 shared in an exclusive conversation with The News. 

She added, "We still feel there's a lot of backlash, a lot of criticism women face when it comes to speaking up, whether it is related to using the law against harassment, or to using avenues like social media to report violence. We sense that the march is in that context an empowering space."

Moreover, entrenched with the concept that 'a woman can stand up for another woman' the Aurat March seeks to liberate all women irrespective of their economic standings.

"The March's official manifesto contends for a number of causes, including provision of economic justice. We believe that women should be given a living wage, a fair share of employment opportunities and have a momentous role in public policy-making," the organizer further said.

Shedding light on how a significant amount of male members are coming forth in support of the cause, she went on to state, "Some men are obviously more supportive than others. We received an overwhelming response from them in the last march and this year too we are looking forward to their favorable participation."

"However," she added, "There's immense backlash too, which I feel exists with a predilection to discredit women and the labor that they put in the movement."

Nevertheless, it is marches like these that will always be organised with an aim to dispel and disrupt the perpetual marginalization of women from pivotal roles and responsibilities in life, the organizer concluded.