Aurat March and Our Patriarchal Society

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Abdul Sattar Baakar

It is the great tragedy that accuses every new thing to westernized, because of this neither social scientists and nor traditional thinker are born. It is believe however that the culture is changeable so that it is not extremist to refuse new ideas thinking and their celebration.For those accusing them of pushing a ‘western agenda’ or being funded by ‘foreign powers’ or ‘NGOs’. The answer is NO, that is simply false. The Aurat Azadi March is entirely self funded. They do not get a single rupee for these marches from donor agencies or foreign sources. They have covered the costs of these marches with small donations from people and income generating initiatives like bake sales, concerts and comedy events. And all the work put into the march, from mobilizing communities and logistics to making art and media content to rasie awareness and educate the public, is done by organizers and volunteers who do it all for free. and please don’t question their patriotism. Many of them are actively campaigning and working to create a better and more just society in this country. They are from here. And they are following the footsteps of Pakistani women and others from this part of the world, from Fatima Jinnah to Asma Jahangir, to Lala Rukh or Mukhtaran Mai who have dedicated their lives to building a better society for women and society in general.Women fighting for safety, protection, equality is not a Western agenda. Feminism is not a western invention. Feminism is embedded in the culture and the struggle of all women all over the world! Only in Islamic Republic of Pakistan can everything be linked to something sexual. Perverted minds cannot understand that women might want something other than sexual liberation. Certain people started with the ‘so a woman can sleep with whoever she wants’ last year and they will do the same this year as well. Not understanding that their privilege bars them to see the atrocities committed against women in our communities. Cutting off a part of a woman’s body which has thousands of nerve endings just because you have the power? Does that make sense to you? Forcing women to bear children, growing them in her uterus and messing up her own body, even when she doesn’t want to, is that fair? How would you feel being a prisoner in your own body? This isn’t just the fight against men who do such stuff, it’s against those women who hide behind big bungalows and being from the elite class to torture and humiliate the women working in their own homes. It’s time we look into our own and see who’s actually fighting for the change and who just wants to add another accolade to their resume. I really hope, this Aurat March proves to be a smashing success when it comes to educating more people.
S