Aurat March (AM) and Aurat Azadi March (AAM) are an organised feminist political collective with independent chapters in different cities in Pakistan that work towards holding an annual march on International Working Women’s Day. Both AM and AAM are feminist struggles for bodily, democratic, economic, and social rights of women and gender and sexual minorities in Pakistan.
The first AM and AAM took place on International Women’s Day in 2018 in Karachi and Islamabad respectively. In 2018, the March was largely ignored by state and society. However in 2019 society started paying attention and the slogan ‘Mera Jism, Meri Marzi’ (My Body, My Choice) resulted in extensive backlash online and offline.
Today, the struggle has expanded, and Aurat March takes place in Lahore, Karachi, and Multan, while Aurat Azaadi March takes place in Hyderabad and Islamabad.
AM and AAM face extensive backlash, including: delegitimisation and non-recognition of the issue/group; explicit violence and threats of violence against volunteers and participants; stigmatisation and vilification of participants and volunteers; deliberate lack of bureaucratic implementation (delays/inaction/active stalling/transparency); and regressive laws and harmful administrative reforms.
Aurat March and Aurat Azadi March chapters
Aurat March Lahore
Aurat March Karachi
Aurat March Multan
Aurat Azadi March Islamabad
Aurat Azadi March Hyderabad