Fighting for Women’s Rights: The Aurat March in Pakistan

The Aurat March, also known as Women’s March, is an annual event held in Pakistan since 2018, on International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on the 8th of March every year. The event aims to raise awareness about women’s issues and demands for their rights and equality in society. The march takes place in major cities of Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Quetta. It is a platform for women to voice their concerns and share their experiences of discrimination, harassment, and violence in a patriarchal society.

The Aurat March in Pakistan has its roots in the global feminist movement, which started in the 1960s. The feminist movement in Pakistan started in the 1970s, when women’s groups emerged to demand equal rights for women. They fought against discriminatory laws, such as the Hudood Ordinance, which made it difficult for women to seek justice in cases of rape, domestic violence, and adultery.

The first Women’s Action Forum (WAF) was formed in Karachi in 1981, and it played a crucial role in raising awareness about women’s rights and mobilizing women across the country. In 1983, the Women’s Action Forum organized a rally against the Hudood Ordinance, which was met with police brutality. This incident marked a turning point in the women’s movement in Pakistan and led to the formation of the Aurat Foundation, a women’s rights organization that works to empower women in Pakistan.

The Aurat March in Pakistan has gained momentum over the years, with women from all walks of life participating in the march. The first Aurat March was held in 2018, in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. It was a historic event that brought together thousands of women, who marched for their rights and equality. The march demanded an end to gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination, and called for equal pay for women.

In 2019, the Aurat March in Pakistan was even bigger than the previous year. Women from all over Pakistan came together to demand their rights and raise their voices against oppression. The march received criticism from some conservative groups, who accused the organizers of promoting vulgarity and obscenity. However, the organizers stood firm in their demands and continued to mobilize women for their cause.

In 2020, the Aurat March faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the organizers adapted to the situation and held virtual events, including webinars, panel discussions, and social media campaigns, to raise awareness about women’s rights. The virtual Aurat March received widespread support from people all over Pakistan and beyond.

The Aurat March in Pakistan 2023 is expected to be bigger and better than ever before. The organizers have announced that the march will take place in major cities of Pakistan, and they have already started preparations for the event. The theme for this year’s march is “My Body, My Choice,” which focuses on women’s reproductive rights and bodily autonomy.

The organizers have also planned a series of events leading up to the march, including panel discussions, workshops, and social media campaigns. These events aim to create awareness about women’s issues and encourage women to come forward and participate in the march.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog/article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the organization.

Saddia Mazhar

Saddia Mazhar, an accomplished Investigative Journalist hailing from District Sahiwal, Punjab, possesses a fervor for unveiling impactful narratives. With a demonstrated history of hosting radio shows, web TV programs, contributing to esteemed publications, and steering digital media platforms, she stands as a notable figure in the field. Connect with her on Twitter @SaddiaMazhar. She can be contacted at
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