The Aurat Azadi March explains why we need feminism

Updated 23 Feb, 2021 02:32pm

Images Staff

Many Pakistani women face domestic violence, sexual harassment, forced marriages and mental pressure.

Whenever March 8 comes around, people start popping up from all over questioning why we need feminism and what good it does.

Unlike the dirty word people have made it to be, Feminism isn't a man-hating movement that seeks to destroy the world as we know it. Instead, it is a movement that advocates for equality and women having the same rights as everyone else (and no, this does not mean less rights for anyone else.)

This year, the Aurat Azadi March Islamabad has a clear answer for people asking what feminism is. A video on its Twitter account explains why women in Pakistan need the movement, and it's spot on.

Even though 52% of Pakistan's population is made up of women, they are still thought of as second class citizens, says a volunteer at the Azaadi March, Rabab Zehra. Women have to fight for their right to education, health and safety, she explains.

"Many Pakistani women have to face domestic violence, sexual harassment, forced marriages and mental pressure."

She also explains that women aren't always safe in public spaces. On public transport, or anywhere where there are men, women are in danger of being stared at, having things said to them and being groped, she says.

"Women have to fight a war in which they are told they are less than men," Zehra explains.

"This is why we need an alternative ideology, which believes in the principle of equality and justice. We need an ideology which can guarantee political, social, economic, and individual rights of men, women and people of all genders. That ideology is called feminism."

The Aurat Azadi March is, as always, on Women's Day, March 8 across Pakistan (and the rest of the world) and we hope we'll see you there.