Pakistanis celebrated the International Women’s Day 2018 in their own desi way. Women’s day Marches were organized in the entire world on 8th March, 2018 and our women were not behind. We had our own very “Aurat March” organized in Lahore with hundreds of women participating and devoting so much of their efforts to raise voice for their rights.
The purpose of this March was not just to contribute to the already happening women’s right campaigns in the world, but it was to make a statement. It was organized to make a statement in front of the people of this nation that gender oppression will no longer be tolerated. And that it did. The March grabbed many eyeballs including that of the people on social media. Some prominent celebrities appreciated the efforts made to make this March not only a successful but an effective event too.
The event was initially organized in Karachi, a day before by a right’s organization, ‘Hum Aurtein’ and by Pakistan’s legendary classical dancer, ‘Sheema Kirmani’. The idea was then picked up women activist groups in Lahore including the ‘Girls at Dhabas’ and people from the Awami Workers Party.
The March took off in the afternoon from the Hamdard Centre and then continued to the Chairing Cross ending in front of the Punjab Assembly. The March gained momentum as more women joined it through the run of its course. Not only women, but men were also supporting the cause and showed up for promoting change. There were banners, slogan chanting and dancing, everything that it took to make an impact and raise awareness.
One of the organizers of the March and the part of ‘Girls at Dhabas’ team, ‘Sadia Khatri’ had nothing but praise for the event. She told Express Tribune: “We’re building off a momentum that has already arisen in different parts of the world. “She also said that it is a ‘beautiful’ way for women to channel their anger and let it all out in the right and an effective manner.
“We’re carrying on that energy but if you look at what has been happening in our country, the amount of harassment cases that have come up, there is a lot of anger that is finally releasing and this March was a way to direct that anger somewhere for something powerful and beautiful.”
The March received appreciation from most people but some men got offended. They thought that this March was another excuse for women to become the victims and distort the bigger picture. They were of the opinion that the March failed to highlight major issues and focused basically on extremist vales and rights. Despite all the criticism, the March stands to be one of its kind and an unusual event in the history of Pakistan. It made sure that people at least get on talking about it and take this issue seriously.
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