Aurat March: Need to focus on self-reformation

March 11, 2020

(Rafay Khan Niazi)

Let me make it clear absolutely that I neither support Marvi Sirmed nor Khalil-u-Rehman Qamar. The Aurat March has given the impression that it was a show of Aurat vs Aurat fight.

An Urdu language slogan Mera Jism Meri Marzi (my body, my choice) selected for the all-women walk generated a reaction from different quarters of the society, including political leaders, right activists, college/university students and some other groups.

A venomous televised debate, earlier this week, between a famous drama writer, Khalil-u-Rehman Qamar and a known feminist Marvi Sirmed further added a fuel to the fire dominating the country’s media.

Aurat March’s slogan appears to be stirred by Western phrase ‘my body my choice’, which created wrong impression instead of highlighting the real women issues. The fiery debate is the result of a controversy caused by some ‘inflammatory slogans’ raised by participants during a similar march last year. Several women held banners saying, “divorced and happy” and “no uterus no opinion” and an elderly participant caught on camera suggesting disbanding the institution of Nikkah (marriage)  invited ire not only from religious circles but also from several women rights activists.

The Holy Quran has given the best rights to women, if we really follow them. Training all starts from the household. Whatever mothers teach their daughters and sons, they do not forget and practice it throughout their lives. Exemplary parents produce exemplary sons and daughters.

I am studying in TILS, an 80% female-run institution under the leadership of Ma’am Sara Khattak. Some notable teachers to mention here are Ma’am Hadia Asad and Ma’am Sherbano Sohail. All of them are from reputed and affluent families. They are all mothers and are teaching since the last 9 –10 years. These are the women I respect but in our culture and our society will it be acceptable that women are going out and teaching?

It’s pertinent to mention here while talking to some of the students, Nily Sherzai said: “Everywhere men are not wrong, woman has to compromise and support his husband and his family. Some are too liberal and some are too extremist. We take religion the way ‘we want to see it’, whatever suits the family or the culture.”

I have neither problem with the Aurat March nor I am against working women, my concern is what parents are doing to groom their kids. We need a balanced approach and extra focus on self-reformation.

The Holy Quran has stated “Treat women nicely, for a women is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely.”

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