A movement emerged in the Pakistani political landscape last year by the name of Aurat March in the cities of Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. What was unique about the movement was its lack of affiliation with any political party or any organisation. The aim of the organisers was to mobilise women at all fronts to ensure that the re-introduction of feminist politics in Pakistan is not limited to a particular group of women and to ensure an inclusive narrative which does not overlook subjugation in any form and in any part of the country. The marches in each city are organised separately by whoever is willing to volunteer for the cause of women. This year the march expanded beyond the three mainstream cities to Peshawar, Faisalabad, and Hyderabad.

A detailed manifesto is also worked upon which outlines the demands of the women. This year there was a great emphasis on sisterhood and solidarity along with demands of economic justice, environmental justice, accountability and restorative justice against violence, ban on police brutality, eradication of enforced disappearances, inclusion, reproductive justice, access to public spaces, rights of religious minorities, and ending the war rhetoric. Most of these demands are already rights guaranteed by the constitution but post the Zia regime, Pakistan witnessed a significant social shift which not only snubbed feminist politics in the country but also resulted in a generation which was responsible for creating Pakistan as the sixth most dangerous country for women in the world.

The aim is to manage bigger crowds each year so that the movement does not lose momentum. It is also an open invitation to male allies to join forces against patriarchal structures and to the institutions of the government to look beyond mainstream politics and to adhere to the demands of such political actors which stand up for the rights of the average Pakistani.