Women, men, children, allies and members from several marginalised communities took part in Aurat March 2021, marking a symbolic celebration of Women’s Day in the country. Taking place in major cities across the country, the March commemorated the struggles of millions of women across Pakistan who raised their voices against injustice and inequality. Year after year, women, men, binary and transgender communities in Pakistan stepped out together on this day to protest against the prolonged oppression.
While scores of people in the country hit the streets to support this cause, it was pleasant to see that majority of the people respected the coronavirus SOPs. Protestors wore masks and practised social distancing too. There were songs, anthems and slogans that kept the momentum high.
Some quite unique and innovative slogans were seen during this year’s Aurat March. Take a look at some of these here.
Slogans at Aurat March 2021
The best one was perhaps the demand for vaccination against patriarchy. Surely no one has found a cure for this disease up till now.
And then how could we miss the #Pawrihorahi hae trend!
There were slogans that indicated the deep-rooted problems of our society such as abuse that have haunted women for years.
While men are part of the problem, it was heartening to see how some men also made an effort to be part of the solution.
The transgender community also stepped up to highlight their voices.
Many talked about the issue of objectification and the fact that women should have control over their bodies.
We absolutely loved the PSL twist to one of the slogans
Renowned celebrities Adnan Malik and Mira Sethi also attended the Aurat March.
The crowd constantly cheered each other and the overall ambiance turned out to be very positive.
— Aurat March Multan- عورت مارچ ملتان (@AuratMarchMultn) March 8, 2021
The way forward
Despite rigorous efforts by different organizations and groups, there is still immense resistance to the concept of Aurat March. With the procession calling it a wrap tonight, many voices call out: was there even a need for Aurat March in the country? What good will it do for the women? Is it just a hoax, which has prevailed for too long?
It’s been four years since the first Aurat March was held in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad but such questions still exist. Such questions are a bitter reflection of the fact that inequality and misogyny are deeply rooted in our society and we still have a long way to go ahead in changing more minds. Although the seeds of change have been sown it will take a lot of time to cultivate them.
Despite setbacks and restrictions from home, thousands of women marched to the streets with the hope that a change will come and one day there will be a Pakistan where women can live freely, without any fear.