Pakistan has always been marked as a country of patriarchy. A country where men stand superior to women and that men will dominate society no matter what. Women’s rights have always been an agenda in Pakistan for decades. If asked who is against the revolutionary movement, it would not be wrong to say that no one but the narrow minds and the thinking they contain. Therefore, from religious groups to sole individuals, many have highly objected to women who stand up for their rights. A difference of opinion is not wrong. However, imposing one’s opinion on the other person most probably is. The media preferred ignoring the matter until recently when the women, or more specifically the ‘Aurats’ of our country, decided to stand up for their own rights.
Eight March marks the day where women of our country celebrate themselves, and they celebrate what the people of our country have neglected, denied, rejected at every step. Today, I am writing to celebrate the same happiness and success that our women feel when celebrating their existence on the streets. There is no harm in being a sport and supporting what one feels is right. It wouldn’t be wrong if I say that I have never met a woman who has ever portrayed this world as just to women in her right frame of mind. However, what women choose to do about it solely depends on the women, depending on the circumstances and the approaches they choose to take.
Unfortunately, the women of our country are always resisting the patriarchal forces in their own unique ways. Some of these ways are often subtle, whereas sometimes they may be overt. But for more than half of the women, the reward of resistance is to survive.
So yes, tell me, is it wrong of us when we support such walks? Is it wrong to be there for the women of our country when they need us? Let us not forget the fact that only occasionally (8th March) women finally step out in the streets in a glorious way to put our country’s patriarchy to rest.
I would move to the benefits of ‘Aurat March’ later in the reading. But I would significantly like to point out the fact that when women finally do something, instead of merely complaining, why do we, men, complain about it? Just a thought. I mean, shouldn’t we be happy that our women have finally stood up for their rights?
Let us not deviate from the point. Women every year come out on the streets carrying an immense amount of psychological, physical, emotional, and mental stress. Oh, and yes, the criticism, condemnation, and disapproval caused by society and media later are unlimited. I fail to understand why we as a country do not approve of such an Enlighted walk? Why do we, as fellow citizens, not support and help OUR women in what is lawfully, rightfully, and authorized by every statute?
I asked why one should support Aurat March; the reasons to do so are zillions. Pakistan Aurat March came into existence on 8th March 2018 and has remained in the headlines since then. The fundamental purpose behind the movement was to bring people’s attention to the unjust acts happening against women in the country. If asked, how has the March benefitted our country? I would like to point out how the latter has brought attention to serious issues like sexual harassment, domestic violence, unequal rights, and many more.
The Aurat March has highlighted many serious issues that mostly used to go unnoticed earlier or more or less were ignored by our own hands. The March has miraculously emerged amid the long history of unjust rights for women and the resistance to feminism in the country. Moreover, the Aurat movement has taught many women a lesson to be strong and to showcase strong resistance. The broader Aurat movement has immensely helped the country look through a perspective other than the patriarchal one. It has contributed to the growth of many factors, where people have primarily understood the importance of women and their rights.
Furthermore, Aurat March aims for greater inclusivity; the March attracts not only upper-class attendees but also those from lower social backgrounds, women from both urban and rural areas, men, and trans persons. The taste of diversity shows that the March does not represent a class, but women as its simplest meaning.
In addition, I would also like to point out that women coming to the streets just to express their discontent with the state is somewhat our fault too. The prime reason why women come out in the streets is to defy the boundaries that have been forcefully imposed on them by our society. What wrong do women do if they stand up against their defied boundaries? Moreover, the anger and frustration that has forced these women to come out are pure violence or how the state objectifies them.
It is significant to mention that Aurat March has done a lot for our society and its people. There is a reason I have named it the walk of enlightenment, as people have broadened their perspective immensely over the years and have accepted many new things that were considered intolerable at points.
The March has extensively contributed to women’s rights. Women ask for just the basics, such as: to wander around openly in public spaces without being abused or to travel without being accosted. The right to have a political voice, the freedom to govern their own bodies, and, most critically, the freedom to live without being shamed, humiliated, or abused by whatever decision they make.