This time of the year has to be a memorable one. Sure, the whole nation comes together for PSL, but when else do you see women from all walks of life coming together to fight for a cause and what they believe in? Yep, it is that time of the year again when the annual Aurat March was held and has left many with an unmatched high. And simultaneously, provoked many.
This year as well, the march was held in some of the major cities of the country. While the Islamabad and Lahore marches fell victim to some mishaps, Karachi’s ran on pretty smoothly. The march’s manifesto focused on the independence of women in all aspects of life, which was portrayed through various slogans, placards, speeches, and skits.
Now it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the mere thought of women marching for their rights just agitates people to the core. Yes, you might even think of some certain notorious men who get enraged at the mention of Mera Jism Meri Marzi without caring about the fact that they’re on live television. But the sad reality is that they are not the only one. If you go scroll through the Aurat March coverage shared on social media, you will find at least a few people (dare we say men) going off with their unwarranted opinions.
We’ve shared a relatively minute number of placards but nearly all of the demands put forward by the march were along the same lines. The right to bodily autonomy, addressing wage gap differences, rights of the transgender community, forced conversions, the kidnapping of women, sexual assault, child marriage – these are just a few examples of all the causes the participants of the march were fighting for.
Now the question arises: what does our awaam find problematic in this? Why do we still women being called all sorts of foul names, and being threatened for raising their voices? Word of advice: If you take the time out to actually read and understand Aurat March’s manifesto, you might save yourself and the women some trouble. None of the demands defies the teachings of Islam, so where is the outrage coming from? Years and years and years of toxic masculinity? Or just your entitled behaviour that is being fueled by patriarchy?
Contrary to popular belief, the Aurat March is not a foreign-funded scheme, it is basically just women coming together for literally one day in a year where they need to reclaim spaces that are usually not safe for them. Imagine that just the mere idea of it terrifies some people so much that they have to resort to making false claims and attack the peaceful protestors. Yes, we’re looking at you, mullah brigade.
On a final note, we implore you to go through the official social media accounts of Aurat March to get an insight into what their actual purpose is. And if still by any chance you feel agitated or threatened, just know that the problem lies beneath you, and nowhere else.