Why is There So Much Hatred for Aurat March?

Why is there so much hatred against Aurat March where women gather to raise their voices against injustice, sexual harassment and other such issues?

I’ve come across so much hatred for feminists on social media. Haters would even go to the extent of killing them if they weren’t behind screens. Yes, that’s how bad it is. They don’t even try to understand the concept or reason behind Aurat March and feel like women just need a reason to go out. Well, we’re not creating any chaos or wrecking havoc. Aurat March is a peaceful protest demanding equality and basic rights for women.

The fact that we need to march for our rights shows our struggle. This year, women started a hashtag #WhyIMarch to explain why they are marching. It’s saddening to see that we need to explain why we’re marching because the majority doesn’t understand. We need to tell everyone what’s going on and what we’re deprived of because otherwise, they think we’re overreacting.

Some tweets in support of Aurat March:

Feminists aren’t man-haters. We don’t actually hate men but many men hate us because we’re trying to speak up about our issues, which are because of them (not all but most). They think we’re more privileged than them, but the truth is that we’re still afraid to go out at night. We feel unsafe because there’s a fear instilled in us as we see numerous cases of rape and sexual harassment that go unheard. Our fight is against sexual harassment, rape, unpaid labor and other such issues, not men.

There was a petition a few days ago which stated that Aurat March should be banned as it’s an anti-state and anti-Islamic activity. The LHC chief justice rightly observed that “freedom of expression cannot be banned”. You cannot ban freedom of speech and it’s the right of every human being. We’re not rioting but marching for basic rights, which we’ve also explained now.

Aurat March Demand 1 – An End to Violence and Sexual Harassment

An End to Violence and SexualHarassmenti. We demand an end to gender-based violence including violence against women, trans and non-binary people by patriarchal (state) forces as well as state-backed violence targeting activists, religious minorities and marginalized communities. We demand an end to the culture of impunity and immunity for state and non-state perpetrators. We demand the criminalisation of jirga/ panchayat ordering revenge rape, forced marriage and honourkillings, and an end to the increasing surveillance and militarisation of our everyday spaces, and the criminalisation of peaceful citizens.ii. We demand an end to extrajudicial killings in Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir, the release of all missing persons, and for constitution and legal rights to prevail without exception. iii. We demand an increase in the budgetsfor existing and the establishment and destigmatization of Dar-ul-Amans, Crisis Centres, Safe Houses and Protection Centres for women, trans and non-binary people, and other integrated support programs for survivors such as subsidised housing, vocational skill-building and employment placements.iv. We demand an increase in women's share in law enforcement, medico legal and judicial posts at all levels, and institutionalise digital data registry and efficient referrals for protection and legal, medical, housing and psychosocial support. We demand that the barbaric and unscientific two-finger and virginity tests in rape cases and their use as evidence to establish consent in court be banned in line with the laws (2016 amendments and 2017 Mandatory DNA Act). v. We protest, condemn and demand an end to harassment in all schools, colleges and universities, the home, the workplace, and the streets perpetuated against all genders. We strive for uprooting of rape culture and demand accountability from all sexual harassers. We demand immediate notifications of harassment committees across all public and private educational institutions and that educational institutions commit to emphasising that persecution and shaming of survivors is not acceptable.vi. We demand the state enforce the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010, direct private and public institutions to form enquiry committees and levy penalties for non-compliance.vii. We demand that all instances of harassment and victimisation be taken seriously and managed appropriately, and we demand a fair trial and strict action against perpetrators on pending cases of harassment at different universities, including the University of Balochistan.#Auratmarch2020 #auratmarchkhi #8MarchKoAuratMarch #AuratMarchKhiDemands

Posted by Aurat March on Saturday, February 29, 2020

And to all the people who think that last year’s posters were very indecent and what not. Well, most of them had a meaning behind them. Try to look up the story behind them because they’re viler than the posters. Men cannot feel what most of us feel on a daily basis.

Our fight is against this patriarchal mindset prevailing in both men and women. Some women come up to me and tell me that they aren’t feminists and they don’t understand the point of going out and marching. My answer to them can be found in a post on Aurat March’s page which really sums up my thoughts.

So you're a woman, and you just don't get what all the fuss is about. You're not a feminist, and you don't need to be….

Posted by Aurat March on Sunday, March 1, 2020

I can go on and on about why we’re marching but I want to save some for 8th March. Be there at Frere Hall if you’re supporting women’s rights and you don’t need to be a feminist, just being human is enough to support a cause like this one.

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