This year women, transgenders, non-binary folks and men came together at Burns Garden to express their needs.
The intense online scrutiny, the prosecutions in Islamabad, the women’s protests of the last year, and the constant threats to life have not stopped the women in Pakistan from leaving their house to fight for their rights, and what should be done for them. but not given because of their gender. Despite the anxiety that permeates the air every year, the unity on the long road to freedom feels sad and exhilarating – even if only for a day.
Aurat Mati, which is now an annual Women’s event in the country, was held in Karachi this year on March 11, a Sunday, instead of March 8 – to better recognize the class of workers and their participation. The event, which started at Frere Hall in 2018, was moved to Jinnah Ground last year to be more inclusive of all classes and communities. This year women, transgenders, non-binary folks and men gathered together at Burns Garden to express their needs.
The participants shouted for the end of patriarchy, the right to live without apology, not to be oppressed and oppressed, and to have equal opportunities to live successfully in life. The organizers set up a long white cloth, almost the same size as most of the people, with the words “tumhara zulm yaad rahega (Your abuse will be remembered)” is written. The protestors dipped their hands in red paint and painted the entire cloth in memory of those who lost their lives in the name of honor, and those who continue to suffer because of the same. The fabric, which represents the anger and fear that women face every day, is then burned in a frenzy during the march.
Sheema Kermani, one of the founding members of Aurat Mati, spoke about it Alabi News about the theme for this year’s protests in Sindh. “The theme of this year’s march is poverty and the impact of women in society. When she becomes hungry and lacks food and nutrients, it not only affects the health of the woman’s body but also affects the health of the mindless and affected his whole family,” he said. “We want to end hunger, to end poverty and in my opinion, it is very possible.”
According to Kermani, the organizers want to see women in all parts of Karachi. “It is important to keep changing our places so that the whole city can see the arrival of women, not just one group. We will always strive for bigger and better places to provide opportunities for everyone who wants to participate.”
Actor Mira Sethi was also seen at the event, mingling with the crowd and addressing serious issues to the media. “It has been six years since the Aurat March began and as always, I am here because I am always happy to see my brothers and sisters from all walks of life gathered in one place. one to celebrate women and fight for their rights,” shared the Kuch Ankahi actor.
“I have one question for everyone who criticizes this, why is it only a woman who is not respected and respected, there are many other issues.” our country’s problems, such as rising inflation and debt, but whenever television money is turned, the debate surrounding culture is only never focusing on the integrity of a woman and her clothes. And that’s why I’m walking today.”
Activist and content creator Amtul Baweja walked for “equal status and equal opportunities” this year. He told the Express Tribune that “an economic problem starts with the fact that women do not have job opportunities. There are more companies for men than for women in the opinion that women will marry and have children, their skills and talents are completely ignored. It’s very difficult.”
He lamented that even if women get jobs, they are not paid the same as men. “Secondly, our salaries are not the same. We have seen our female workers get paid more. It’s not easy for women to get more. We need equal pay and equal opportunities and I hope this change comes soon!”
In his speech about the framework of demands for this year, said the organization Dhuha Alvi, “We are talking about the empowerment of conversion, protection and safety of women from domestic violence, the access to shelters, and the lack of money for the safety of women provided by the government. .In this walk, we also stand for the people affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan, who are now hungry and living in without a place to live.”
“Come on, narrow-minded people, look at how many people are here,” began Bindiya Rana, “you say that other countries are thriving and we are behind, facing a financial crisis? because, in other countries, women, men and the khwajasira are all equal people and walk the earth with equal rights, remember that this country is suffering because of corruption and lack of control of its people.”
He then praised all the women who are still participating in the Aurat March, regardless of the insults they face on the internet. “I welcome everyone who is here even though they are facing severe criticism and insults on social media. People say that all we do here is sing slogans like, ‘My body , my decision,’ I say that my body and my creator’s decision and he has given me the right to be me, not slave and free.
Although the Aurat March in other cities like Lahore and Islamabad was met with clashes and many incidents, the road went smoothly in Karachi. The main reason for this could be the new location and the ban on YouTubers, which Aurat March Lahore accused of doing “violence” this year.
Kermani also had a message for people who do not accept the march. “Having diversity is a good thing. We have no problems with people having different opinions. However, conflicts should not turn into violence and murder, they should remain interesting topics for discussion. I want to live in a world where we can disagree without disturbing the harmony.”
Perhaps that is the reason why women continue to march and regain their rights on the streets. To keep everyone safe, remind women of what it’s like to walk the streets again and join a world without threatening songs, cat calls, and a chance to truly feel human. .
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