Aurat March to smash patriarchy held in the city

KARACHI: Dozens of women and men marched from Frere Hall to Quaid-e-Azam Museum on Thursday raising slogans in support of their demands for an end to gender discrimination and segregation and in opposition of patriarchal social attitudes.

The march, titled ‘Aurat March’, featured women carrying placards with slogans against patriarchy and seeking action for establishment of a social order where men and women were considered equal and both had same opportunities and resources at their disposal to advance individually.

The Aurat March was led by classical dancer Sheema Kermani and participants came all over the city. “The Aurat March’s manifesto is to demand an end to violence against women, protection of workers’ rights, promotion of reproductive justice and environmental impartiality,” Kermani said, adding that the idea of holding an Aurat March was floated as a call for collection action by women from diverse affiliations, backgrounds, and professions. “Our aim is to unite women for the cause of gender justice and social change. We are glad that a lot of women and men came out on our call,” she said

Participant Mehvish Ahmed said that she was attending the march to press for demands for equality in salaries of women and men employed at comparable positions and for right to form unions for women and men workers. She said it was the first time that she was attending a public event for a progressive cause. “For me, this say is synonymous with resolve to smash patriarchy, and to celebrate brilliance.”

Journalist Afia Salam said that the idea of the day was to remind the public that efforts were underway to bridge the gender gap in employment as well as in access to healthcare and education, and to secure the right to choose one’s spouse, occupation, and political representative, and finally, to eliminate discriminatory laws and put in place protections from abuse, and give women equal access to justice

She said that such days should be used to focus attention on doing positive things for women empowerment.

The march was attended by members of the Feminist Collective, the Women’s Collective and Girls at Dhabbas.

Separately, PPP Women Wing president Faryal Talpur said on Thursday that PPP would continue to fight for protection of women’s rights.

She was addressing the Karawan-e-Benazir rally held in connection with the International Women’s Day.

 Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.