Ahead of the annual Aurat March (Women’s march) event in Pakistan, the official Twitter handle associated with the movement reiterated that it is not ‘un-Islamic’ for women to hit the streets for their civil liberties.
In a tweet on Friday (February 26), Aurat Azadi March Islamabad wrote, “The mainstream narrative about Aurat March is that it’s un-Islamic. This idea has been hammered into us that our norms & cultural values are at stake at the hands of these movements.” To break the stigma attached to it, they had also shared an animation explaining the concept of women’s freedom.
“Is demanding for social and financial equality and justice, un-Islamic? Is it against Islam to speak about education for women? Is it unIslamic to raise voice against the atrocities committed against women? Is it unislamic to speak against child abuse, acid attacks and killing women in the name of honour? If all of it is against Islam, then what is your Islam? Calling ‘Aurat March’ un-Islamic is akin to insulting the religion.”
The mainstream narrative about #AuratMarch is that it’s un-Islamic.— Aurat Azadi March Islamabad (@AuratAzadiMarch) February 26, 2021
This idea has been hammered into us that our norms & cultural values are at stake at the hands of these movements.
Watch our animation made by @MaryumX & voice @RehmahSufi on #WhyIMarch#AuratAzadiMarch2021 pic.twitter.com/8xUCdCv0Ry
“We are not against Islam or any religion. The majority of those connected with our movement practice their Faith in private. Feminism is not against Islam, Christianity or any other religion. We are against all such archaic practices that have been traditionally used to oppress women,” the video concluded. Aurat March was first organised in 2018 on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8th, after which it has become an annual event. On this day, women march in various cities of Pakistan demanding equality and freedom.
Pakistani actress explains the slogans raised at Aurat March
Recently, Pakistani actress Mahira Khan clarified about one of the most ‘misunderstood slogan – Meri Jism Meri Marzi’ that was raised during Aurat March last year. While speaking to host Mira Sethi on her talk show, the ‘Raees’ actress emphasised, “When I say ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’, I don’t mean I want to strip my clothes off and run around naked!”
She added, “I mean to say that I am a human and this is my body, so it is up to me whether I allow you to stare at it or touch it, or not. It means that I can report to you if you don’t comply. It means that I can take an action against you if you harass me because you have no right over MY body.”
Paradox: Women protested against ‘Aurat March’ that fought for equal rights for women
In March last year, radical Islamists pelted stones, shoes and sticks at the Aurat March participants, thereby bringing the march to a sudden halt in Islamabad. In May 2020, a group of Burqa clad women took out a rally at Zila Council Chowk in Faisalabad, Pakistan against the “Aurat March” orchestrated by progressive women seeking equal rights at par with men in the orthodox Pakistani society. The Official Twitter account of Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Women Wing dubbed the rally against the ‘Aurat March’ as ‘Haya March’ (loosely translated as “march of modesty”). It also alleged that Islam protects Women’s dignity.