Pakistani women are gearing up to march in streets to demand emancipation from the clutches of patriarchy as International Women’s Day is approaching. The event Aurat March 2020 which is taking place on March 8 will witness women from mega cities out on roads claiming the equal rights that have never been granted to them for various reasons in the male-dominated society.
The event is not taking place for the first time. Aurat March 2019 witnessed women’s rights echoing through the streets calling the attention of the masses and giving rise to a debate. The posters and placards that women held didn’t go well with the moral brigade causing criticisms from extremist factions who opposed the march and thought it useless for its perceived western outlook.
Well, this year many Pakistani women are sharing why are they going to march with the hashtag #WhyIMarch on Twitter. Things they have to say in their defence really make sense and debunk the deeply rooted misogynist behavior in the society that makes it difficult for women to live up to their potential. The injustices that women face in the name of their protection and as a custodian of family honor are so rampant that recognizing them as a social evil is not simple anymore; something that makes a stronger case for the need of a platform that reverberates women rights.
Why Go in Aurat March 2020
We took a look at #WhyIMarch hashtag to check what is the agenda of this march only to end up with some shocking revelations about the gruesome situation that women have to face despite being from financially and socially privileged class.
They are marching to demand justice for the victims of harassment and sexual abuse which is never served since victim has to take the blame. Very often rape victim face more scrutiny for not dressing up modestly than perpetrators who actualy commit the heinous crime.
For the victims who pay the price of speaking against the ordeal they face.
The women are marching because they are denied the right to birth and face brutal violence for not able to give birth to a boy; something that biologically depends upon the male partner.
And also for the married women whose consent has no worth in eye of their spouse.
They are raising the voice against the flawed institutions that have failed their women.
Marching Not Only for Men but Also for Women
Gender roles in society are not a burden to men but also to women. As Nida Kirmani who teaches at LUMS (one of the top ranking universities in Lahore, Pakistan) points out how different people are compelled to suppress their feelings only because of stereotypical gender roles.
Demanding the Right of Women’s Control of Their Bodies
In last year’s Aurat March a slogan mera jism meri marzi (my body my choice) went viral. Anti-march folks took this phrase in really negative sense and went on to propagate the fabricated meanings to distort its essence. The phrase actually refers to how women have little to no control on their bodies and they are forced to give birth despite their deteriorating physical conditions. In many countries of the world, women can’t even choose abortion without the consent of their partner. Consequently they have to compromise their health and even life in some severe circumstances.
Despite heavy criticism it seems that women this year are still going to ask for their right to exercise control over their bodies since this is what that society has to pay attention towards if it is committed to resolve the women issues.
They are marching to claim the public places and walk fearlessly on roads without the fear of being harassed, grabbed, abused and stalked at.
And also for normalizing it for women to prefer divorce over spending an entire life in a toxic and emotionally abusive relationship that even disturbs the kids.
Aurat March 2020 is not simply an agenda of feminists. It is a representation of marginalized and oppressed who have to face discrimination on the basis of their class, gender and even ethnicity. It about demanding a safe workplace not only for a woman who has a desk job but also for a woman who works tirelessly in fields. It is not about seeking freedom for women it is also about raising the voice for the men who face repression for being sole breadwinner for the family.
Those who still think their is no purpose of this march can watch this.