The Aurat March last week brought with it a fair share of controversy, along with support from various celebrities who were in attendance. About a week later, following extensive coverage, social media debates and even the announcement of a freakin’ Mard March, PPP Chairman Bilawal Zardari has lent his two cents and spoiler alert, he’s in full support.
Pleasure meeting some organizers of #AuratMarch. Women reclaiming social, political & public spaces important for progress. Bigoted, misogynistic & vitriolic reaction of some is expected in a patriarchal society. Women’s rights are human rights & human rights are women’s rights. pic.twitter.com/KSeRj6CMNe
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) March 16, 2019
“Pleasure meeting some organizers of #AuratMarch,” he tweeted. “Women reclaiming social, political & public spaces [are] important for progress. [The] bigoted, misogynistic & vitriolic reactions of some [are] expected in a patriarchal society. Women’s rights are human rights & human rights are women’s rights.”
With him in the center, organizers stood alongside. It’s interesting to note that this support comes after the March being targeted everywhere – on social media, news platforms and also by politicians.
In what seems to be the same light, Sherry Rehman also tweeted in solidarity.
Important statement of support for women activists by PPP Chairman @BBhuttoZardari today. No compromise on rights promised in constitution and manifesto. #SolidarityWithSisters https://t.co/CslGnFKVCx
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) March 16, 2019
“No compromise on rights promised in constitution and manifesto,” she stated. Love her choice of hashtag #SolidarityWithSisters!
While some have classified the Aurat March, and by extension women’s rights in general, a trivial non-issue, focusing only on the placards, PPP is taking a bold step towards legitimizing the hard work and effort put into the event and cause by countless Pakistani women. The official Media Cell Twitter handle also posted a tweet in accordance with this very line of thought, quoting Bilawal in the process.
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) March 16, 2019
While it’s amazing that the organizers of the Aurat March have political support and a safety net of sorts, it begs the question – was this photo op just that – mere lip service – or will it translate into actual action. While it was immensely bold of PPP to take up a cause that has been shunned and ridiculed by many – all while being a legitimate cause that requires attention – will this photo op become something bigger?
Additionally, does this mean that BBZ is a feminist? Does he identify as one?
While I personally hope other political parties follow suit and put their weight behind the cause, it’ll be interesting to see what comes out of this alliance. What do you think, will PPP’s stance on women’s rights make a difference? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover image via @BBhuttoZardari /Twitter