You must be living under a rock if you do not have any familiarity with the “Aurat March”. In case you do not know what “Aurat March” is, this term refers to the protests organized in various major cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Lahore, Hyderabad and Karachi to observe International Women’s Day which is observed on March 8th every year all around the globe. Aurat March is the burning question right now, and this article sheds light on everything that can go wrong At Aurat March 2020.
Aurat March gained popularity in 2018, when a private organization with a mission to eliminate oppression against women, We The Woman, held this procession throughout the country. Participants in the march demanded for accountability for violence against women and end of patriarchy. Many slogans became internet sensation like “Ghar ka kaam, sab ka kaam.”
But this year, Aurat March has become notorious for many reasons. Especially after the release of the drama “Meray Paas Tum Ho” written by the infamous Khalil ur Rehman, there has been a prominent stir in the women rows. The drama portrayed a “man” being the victim and defied the concept of women always going through oppression. The drama gained a very high fame in critical as well as non-critical circles. Feminists in Pakistan do not agree to the drama story and label it “misleading” and a failed attempt to overshadow patriarchy for the young generation.
This year Aurat March is under heavy fire. Where Aurat March is seen as a procession that acts as a voice for the oppressed women of our society, a large chunk of Pakistani community believes in the concept that Aurat March is actually a propaganda, funded by the Western NGOs, which are passively working to welcome Western values and culture which are against Islamic teachings. This community believes that the real purpose of Aurat March is to raise awareness for the welfare of oppressed women and women in general. But in the following years, the agenda that is being represented is far far different and should be condemned.
— Areba Noor Wazir (@Areba_07) March 6, 2020
Every community has extremists and violent activists. The women that will be leading the Aurat March have reported many conspiracies that are under development against the protest. These women are allegedly facing violent threats of physical abuse and terrorist attacks. A volunteer stated in an interview that there are fears of acid attacks, bomb explosions, stalkers and even doxxing, which is the publication of someone’s personal details online.
To be true, it was the slogans and signs held up in the 2019 protests which drew wider attention to the movement as a whole. Participants faced extreme criticism and abuse in the mainstream media, alongside intense trolling on social media. It was the rallying cry “Mera jism, Meri marzi”, which means my body, my choice, in particular which managed to touch a nerve of a large number of people last year and continues to cause controversy ahead of this year’s march.
Aurat March opponents have argued it is about a woman’s control over her own body, but the slogan was seen by critics as absurd, obscene, having a sexual connotation and going against the highly prized Islamic teachings, failing to meet the expectation of modesty in a woman. This very slogan contributed to the voices saying the movement is too Western in its ideals because it referred to a specific topic and not the general rights of woman.
Even Firdous Aashiq Awaan, belligerently opposed the controversial slogans of Aurat march, saying these things do not match with the norms of our society and are not a part of Pakistani law, system and culture.
Despite knowing everything that can go wrong at Aurat March 2020, the protesters are still in full spirits, not being affected by any controversies and threats against them. They have been observed of the view that if they get scared of everything happening around them, they will never succeed in their mission.