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Aurat March being held nationwide to celebrate Women’s Day

KARACHI: International Women’s Day is also being observed in Pakistan as a wide range of events have been organised in various cities of the country.

Aurat March rallies and sit-ins will be held across various Pakistani cities on line with International Women’s Day, with women coming out on the streets to protest against oppression and discrimination they face in society.

In Karachi, the organisers of Aurat March have instead set up the Aurat Dharna in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure social distancing. “6 foot ki doori, Magar inqilab zaruri [Please ensure 6-feet distance but the revolution is crucial],” they wrote in an update on the official Twitter account.

In addition, Aurat March Karachi will be held at the Frere Hall at 3PM. The organisers have issued guidelines for roads, traffic and parking plans, and locations of the venue to facilitate the crowds.

Aurat March Lahore’s organisers have announced that the route for the rally will be from Lahore Press Club to the front of the PIA building. The event will commence at 2PM.

In the federal capital, the Aurat Azadi March 2021 has been scheduled to start at 1PM on Monday, with the main event to start at the Islamabad Press Club. In Quetta, the main event will be the Aurat Azadi Conference at 3PM at the Quetta Press Club, where women and gender minorities will voice their concerns.

Multan will hold its second Aurat March this year. The rally will start at the Nawa Shehar chowk and the main event and speeches are scheduled to be held at the Multan Press Club. Aurat March Sindh organisers from Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Larkana have announced a rally from Shahbaz Building to Hyderabad Press Club.

Aurat March organisers have warned of extending their protest if the government fails to meet the demands listed in the 15-point agenda of the Aurat March within the given time frame.

Renowned classical dancer and member of the Aurat March organising committee, Sheema Kirmani, demanded that the government effectively implement laws formulated for the protection of women.

The Aurat March organisers are demanding an end to forced conversions, deployment of women and transgender persons at police stations, establishing desks to facilitate women and transgender persons at police stations and in courts, and increasing the number of female medico-legal officers.

They demanded the inclusion of representatives of feminists and transgender organisations in federal and national standing committees, implementation of the state’s obligations under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018, and the protection of the transgender community in Sindh.

They urged the Sindh government to pass the proposed bill against forced conversions into law and to enforce the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010. They also demanded that shelter houses be established for women, transgender persons and non-binary people and child protection centres should be set up.