Aurat March is here and while we are all both excited and nervous about what kind of trolls will be unleashing their terror on different placards and activities per their wits – we were yet again reminded why we need it when the news of a 6-year-old baby girl’s murder & rape covered our social media feeds (Khi – Bin Qasim town case). All the excitement and happiness to join the march faded away as we struggled to not lose our head and heart over this baby’s brutal departure from our world to the next.
Also – remember last year when a father killed his 7-day-old daughter because he wanted his firstborn to be a son in these exact same days?
We are still killing babies because of their gender in the 21st century and, yet people have the audacity to ask ‘but what’s the point of Aurat March?’ – If you don’t know then read their demand charter released every year. This year’s theme is #JawaabDo and is based on the need for a good justice system for all.
While most of us are ready to take to the streets with Hasan Raheem ft. Justin Bibis’ song ‘Peechay Hut’ once again – there’s also a portion of women, transgender, people and other supporters who might not be able to join due to various reasons. Some of the most common reason why some people can’t attend the Aurat March is:
- Parents/Guardians/Family won’t or doesn’t allow
- Anxiety, Panic or Claustrophobia Issues
- Corporate and capitalism nudges
- Exams or Classes
- Conveyance Problems
Being unable to attend the march is sad but it’s okay, it doesn’t define your support for women throughout the years and there’s nothing to feel embarrassed about.
Ways you can support Aurat March without attending it
So here’s a list I curated especially for those who can’t attend the aurat march to help them help us support each other!
Read the complete Manifesto
If you don’t know what the annual Aurat March manifesto is about – it doesn’t matter whether you attend it or not because you will not know what the entire discussion is going to be around and why will it be like that. This year’s (2023) manifesto talks about the gender pay gap, unpaid labour, domestic & informal workers, food, climate & economic crisis as well as a safe and secure environment.
Take it to the socials!
If you can’t attend it, you can at least talk about it. Go ballistic and share their posts and your thoughts/opinions on Aurat March, its manifesto, its theme etc. on socials. Keep the conversation going – that is the main point of the march as well after all … to keep the conversation going!
The trending hashtags for this year’s Aurat March are #auratmarch #auratmarch2023 #auratmarchjalsa #marchtuhoga #baghmainbaghi #halsirfFeminism #womxnsmarch
Make your Poster
Just because you can’t go and celebrate the Aurat Eid – doesn’t mean you can’t make a poster too. Get crafty and share it with your sisters, cysters and all others via social media, be vocal – be proud – own your women-ness.
Support local businesses
Find out which businesses are run by women especially and help them get to find their footing by placing your order or at least sharing their posts – it won’t cost anything and they will get a little marketing. By supporting local businesses, you will help the environment as well so if you can’t find a female-run organization to support – just being local is okay too.
Help a new mom
Being a new mom is difficult even more in Asia because not every woman has a good support system, especially if they have a daughter. Families can be quite harsh unapologetically to them for not having birthed a boy and while it is bad the best we can do is help such moms however we can. Make their food, cradle their baby or simply just comb their hair – there’s so much you can do for them.
Sing them Feminist Anthems!
From ‘peechy hut’, ‘moaziz sarif’ and ‘rajkumari’ to ‘tum rapist hou’ – we have a wide variety of feminist songs that we can listen to and get our blood pumping if you don’t know what to tweet or share on social media – share their lyrics!
Las Tesis, a Chilean protest group this is known for their #metoomovement, created a song and dance titled ‘A Rapist in Your Path’. The song was so relatable to womxn globally that it has now been performed in many countries and deemed as the global feminist anthem for many.
Mentor a girl near you
Look for programmes to mentor girls and join in, help them learn the rules of today’s world and reach their full potential. While we don’t have a Big Brothers, Big Sisters type of organization here yet – we still can support children by helping with their fees or giving them free tuition etc.
Help keep girls in school
In 2019, Borgen Magazine published that nearly 22.6 million children in Pakistan don’t attend school – of which 56% are girls. UNICEF and others have cycles to convince parents to send their girls to schools, many people deem it unnecessary to send their girls to school – so why not approach the ones you can and convince them that having independence – financially esp. – is the best thing a girl can have.
Start or Sign a Petition & Push for Pro-womxn Legislations
Take a step yourself or follow someone else and help make a change either by starting/signing a petition for change and push the government to cancel or make laws that are human-centric and not just for a particular gender. Talk about the necessity to pass a law against forced conversions & child marriages etc.
Connect with the Womxn in your life and let them know you’re there for them
As for my last point on this list, get in touch with the womxn in your life and tell them how you love them and are there for them whenever they need you. Give them the chance to have you as a fall-back plan. Help with cantharis and most importantly check up on each other’s mental health – the amount of trauma our womxn go through every day is a lot because even if it isn’t happening to us directly … we still feel the pain at a level men might fail to recognise even.
With this said, happy women’s day and feel free to connect online 🙂