“No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men” – Muhammad Ali Jinnah
The 8th of March is International Women’s Day and countries all over the world are celebrating this momentous occasion to truly make a positive difference for women in all walks of life. Gloria Steinem, who is a world renowned journalist, feminist and activist, said “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, not to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
In Pakistan, the Aurat March is scheduled to take place in all the major cities to commemorate the achievements and legacy of Pakistani women all throughout the history of the country. The main event scheduled for the Aurat March will begin at 3:30 pm in Karachi, at the Frere Hall, where women will make their way to Abdullah Haroon Road to join in on the main rally.
Many civil rights activists will be participating in the Aurat March in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Hyderabad and Mardan.
The march, itself, has been organized very efficiently as the organizers have shared guidelines regarding the registration process, the help desk, what to do in case of an emergency and, most importantly, how the management has a “zero-tolerance policy on harassment and violence,” reported The Nation.
In many parts of the country women are still not paid as much as men and harassment is prevalent in the work place and at home so the timeliness of the Aurat March could not be better suited. Women from all over the country are gathering under one banner to express their solidarity. The significance of the march is also monumental as class boundaries and gender parity will be challenged.
Apart from this, the marchers have also organized a list of demands:
Many politicians have also spoken about the role of women in the country.
PM Imran Khan had this to say in his tweet:
While, FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi tweeted:
Many have also taken to twitter to show case their artistic talents, funny banners and support for the Aurat March.
It is also important to note that the march is not just for women but for men, who need to know about the rights of women, trans people and other minorities who are just as involved in the lives of women as anyone else.
Let’s hope that some positivity comes out of the march today and that we can all contribute in making Pakistan a safer and more equal society for all women.