Aurat March has proven itself to be a safe haven for the women of Pakistan. With voices of strength and shared courage among the sisterhood, the march marks history every year on the 8th of March since 2018. A sense of safety, love and comfort can be felt in the air when women step out for their rights. In defiance of patriarchy, strong-willed women band together. Their voice is louder than society’s pervasive misogyny and can cut through the patriarch.
As the world celebrates women, Aurat March Multan demands the rights of women and those who are at the margins of society. It advocates for independence, autonomy, and protection for women and transgender individuals as citizens in the Seraiki Waseb. Women and other gender minorities have the right to actively engage in all sectors of society, in Aurat March Multan’s vision of a safe, just, and inclusive society.
Aurat March Multan focuses on issues of gender equality, social justice, and women’s empowerment. This year it is taking place against the backdrop of two major issues that are impacting the lives of women in Pakistan: climate change and inflation. Climate change has directly affected the women of South Punjab, with rising floods and intense climate conditions, women are challenged by the climate alongside the society. In the rural areas of Seraiki Waseb, women are compelled to travel farther distances and are exposed to greater hazards to their health and safety since they are frequently in charge of gathering water. Climate change further exacerbates existing disparities, as women are typically excluded from decision-making processes and lack access to resources like education, healthcare, and financial services.
On the other end, women are fighting against inflation in both rural and urban areas. The costs of basic needs are increasing by the day which is leading to frustration and uncertainty. The patriarchal nature of society targets women in frustrating times, a hike in cases of abuse can be noted and women are challenged to make ends meet with minimum resources. Women have less job security and less protection since they are more likely to work in low-wage jobs or in the unorganised sector. Women also have less money to save or invest because they are more likely to be in charge of paying the bills around the house.
In this fight, Aurat March stands with all those who face oppression at the hands of society and promises a safer future. By bringing together women from all walks of life, the March creates a powerful platform for collective action and solidarity. It is a chance for women to share their stories and experiences, highlight the challenges they face, and demand solutions that are equitable and sustainable. The demands put forth by Aurat March Multan this year include the protection and safety of women in flood affected areas, accessible healthcare, guaranteed education and institutes, laws against harassment, inflation-adjusted and gender-conscious minimum wage and much more.
Aurat March Multan is giving out a call to action. For it is now or never, it is the women of the country who are calling out for help. Join hands in solidarity with women of the nation and March on 8th March 2023, for yourself and the women in your life.