ISLAMABAD, MAR 8 – In various cities across Pakistan, the ‘Aurat March’ is being held on Sunday (today) to mark International Women’s Day.
The first Aurat March was held in 2018 in Karachi. Last year, it was extended to more cities, including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.
This year the march is once again being held in various cities nationwide:
- Lahore: Participants gathered at 11am at the Lahore Press Club
- Multan: 11am at the Multan Press Club
- Quetta: 11am at the Quetta Press Club
- Islamabad: Timing changed to 3pm due to weather conditions; at the National Press Club
- Karachi: 3pm at Frere Hall
- LahoreIn Lahore, marchers gathered at the Lahore Press Club. Carrying placards, they played the drums, chanted slogans and clapped.
- As the attendees gathered, they chanted slogans calling for the independence of women.The march went through Egerton road till Aiwan-e-Iqbal.Two layers of security have been enforced including policewomen.
- IslamabadIn Islamabad, the Aurat March will begin at 3pm.
- Separately, female members of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) held a march outside the National Press Club.The participants of the JI march reached China Chowk from the National Press Club where JI chief Sirajul Haq addressed the gathering.During his address, Haq said that the Election Commission of Pakistan should not name any hopeful who as male doesn’t give his sister her inheritance rights.”In the future, I will not give a party ticket to any man who doesn’t give his sister her rights,” he said.Another rally by female students of Jamia Hafsa is also underway in the capital. Starting from Lal Masjid, the rally is headed towards the National Press Club.Aurat MarchThe Aurat March, as it has come to be known since its first iteration in 2018, was organised by Hum Aurtain — a feminist collective. It has a manifesto demanding basic rights for women in each field of life.
This year, Aurat March’s manifesto revolves around khudmukhtari (independence) of women.Women’s Day messagesVarious politicians have also shared messages for International Women’s Day.President Arif Alvi quoted Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah as saying: “Power of women is greater than the pen and sword.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that observing International Women’s Day is a “reiteration of our commitment to undertake every possible effort to ensure equal rights and opportunities to our women”.
- “It is indeed encouraging to see that our women are proving their mettle in every walk of life and achieving excellence in their respective fields at national and international level.”I reaffirm my pledge on this day to take all measures that would help our women to lead a safe, secure and prosperous life,” he said.In his message on the occasion, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that under former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, PML-N had always taken steps for the protection and promotion of women.
- He added that if given the opportunity to be in the government again, they will take “historic steps” for women’s education, health and economic betterment.
- Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that on the occasion, women in Pakistan will be marching to “demand their rights in accordance with our religion Islam, as enshrined in our Constitution and in the commitments made by successive governments through ratification of international human rights conventions”.She said that the right to peaceful protest is a “democratic right and women cannot be denied it”.”Women must also respect that right for other women. Diversity and tolerance — respect for the ‘other’. #AuratMarch,” she tweeted.