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Aurat March: Women Take To The Streets To Demand Freedom From Patriarchy

On International Women’s Day, Pakistani women challenged the patriarchy by taking to the streets in great numbers. Aurat Marches were held in various cities of the country. Participants included women students, human rights activists, members of the marginalised groups and male allies of the feminist movement.

In Lahore, the march was attended by prominent human rights activists, including Hina Jilani and Nighat Dad. The march was inclusive as representatives of various marginalized segments of society which included trans representatives Kami Sid and Muavia Malik among others were present on the occasion.

Hina Jilani spoke to Naya Daur about the purpose of the march and said that these marches are symbolic.

“It is to let the world know that women of Pakistan have achieved certain rights for which they have been fighting for last many decades and are at least now able to organize like this,” she said.

She added that it’s a long struggle ahead but “we are here to celebrate what we have achieved”.

People gathered in front of the Lahore Press Club and then marched towards the Alhamra Art Centre where various programmes discussing the plight of women, starting from the birth, and stigmas attached to them were organised. Pakistan’s first woman tabla player was among those who performed on the occasion. The performers were all women.

Women students of different colleges and universities were also present on the occasion. They were of the opinion that such marches give them a sense of liberation. “On other days, as we go about our routine, we feel uncomfortable on roads due to various issues such as sexual harassment.”, one student said, adding that the idea of the march was to reclaim the roads for women and eliminate all forms of discrimination on basis of gender.

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