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Women’s cycling rally cancelled in Peshawar. It’s been 14 years since we haven’t moved an inch


  • Few days ago, a women’s bicycle rally was scheduled to be held
  • in Peshawar but it had to be cancelled because
  • Jamaat Islami and JUI-F people threatened to protest against it
  • They apparently believe that women riding bicycles
  • is somehow a threat to their Islam
  • I remember another rally was cancelled in 2005
  • at a university in Gujranwala because of the same reason
  • Asma Jahangir then organized a marathon in Lahore
  • against the cancellation, and the religious fanatics
  • It was a women’s marathon,
  • though also attended by male activists
  • The main point behind holding marathon was
  • that these religious fanatics couldn’t be given the right
  • to decide whether women can go out or not
  • Pervez Musharraf was ruling Pakistan at the time
  • Police did a severe crackdown on the occasion
  • and many people were arrested at the marathon
  • Asma Jahangir herself was arrested
  • but the marathon went on
  • It wasn’t stopped and it was a success
  • A very strong message was sent against religious fanatics
  • and people who try to dictate women’s presence at public spaces
  • The same question was under discussion at the time
  • whether women should be allowed
  • to lead a bicycle rally or not
  • But it was 2005 and now it’s 2019
  • And if we’re still discussing the same question
  • then we’re probably not progressing as a society
  • in terms of women empowerment
  • We need to get out of that phase now
  • where we discussed whether
  • women should have this right or not
  • Women should have this right, and they have it
  • Right to mobility is a fundamental right
  • And it is not gender specific
  • So we need to raise our voice against these people
  • who want to obstruct women empowerment in the name of Islam
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