Aurat March 2020 was a peaceful protest held on 8th March 2020 across Pakistan on the International women’s day. These are our favourite placards that have come out of the march so far:
Starting with the infamous “Mera jism meri marzi” – but for those who don’t get it, this protestor added news clippings of 3 headlines of women who were killed and abused. The 3 headlines take up most of the placard itself. If you take the time to Google and search how many women are abused and killed everyday, them wanting bodily autonomy doesn’t sound as extreme as it’s made out to be.
This one simply asks “why women demanding for equal rights so disturbing for everyone? Aren’t women human too?”
Yes they will! Contrary to how society describes Pakistani men, they’re more than capable of making sound decisions and behaving. They are not senseless beings who will attack women if they see one without a dupatta. The ones that do attack are the problem, stop making excuses for them by saying “Admi hota he aisa hai” or that “Men can’t control themselves” – of course, they can. They too are “ashraf ul makhlooqaat” at the end of the day.
This placard raises a very important point, in most cases, Clauses 17-21 in a nikkah-nama are crossed out before it even reaches the bride. Cutting away all of the clauses that state her rights, along with a section where she’s free to write down any further demands. This shouldn’t even be allowed. There needs to be more awareness about this and it was great to see this placard out there too!
This one is shattering to read, a 5-year-old shouldn’t have had to go through abuse. At 5 she probably didn’t even know what was happening to her. Her body shouldn’t have been someone elses “marzi”.
This woman points out how her mom had to stay at home while her brothers went to school. Pointing out how important it is that both girls and boys are educated and allowed to go to school. In Pakistan 75% of girls have never even been to school. SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT! (According to a study done by the human rights watch)
This placard calls out victim-blaming. Telling women they must’ve done something that they got raped or abused is a common thing in our society. Telling them it’s because of the way they live that caused them to be abused, that if they wore a burqa they’d be safe from all abuse. This protestor simple asks “Where can you buy a burqa for a 5 month old” referring to all the rapes that happen to babies here everyday.
Women walking on the streets don’t feel the same safety that most men do, this woman made a placard saying that she deserves to feel safe too.
This one calls out the discrimination Pakistani women face on the basis of the color of their skin. “Gora worshipping” still exists in 2020 and women are told to “use that cream” or “get those injections” to make them more “acceptable” for rishtas.
This placard gives voices to the families of missing persons whose loved ones are missing for years now. It was to show solidarity with them and demand that they are provided with their constitutional right to a free and fair trial.
This one’s just self-explanatory.
This one wins the “funny placard of the year” ??
Women can wear whatever on the face of the Earth and they’ll be stared at. Why don’t we school the people staring?
This placard with two simple words sum up a lot of what’s wrong with our society. “Jeany do” “Let live” Short yet powerful.
This year we had a massive turnout of men who were allies of the movement. This placard speaks for all the good men we’re surrounded with “Men of quality, fight for equality”. These men don’t fear what will happen if women are equal, they wanna be there standing with us as we get to our destinations instead.
This placard highlights how women are killed on the basis of “honor” or “Izzat”. Women are called “Ghar ki izzat” and she’s told that if she even breathes according to her own will the “izzat of the house” will be affected. Women aren’t respect, they are humans. Humans that need to be respected too.
With the insane outrage about the women’s march this year to the point where a few thought it was insane enough to file petitions against them, this placard asks Why isn’t there same outrage when women are killed here every day? People fight women protesting by saying “women have all the rights, what else do they want?” when women die every day and we barely hear anything from the same people.