The petition to block Aurat March 2020 has been thrown out
Given controversy over Aurat March every year, a petition to stop Aurat March 2020, filed in late February, had gained a lot of notoriety recently.
Today, Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court disposed of a petition filed against Aurat March 2020
To the relief of organizers and participants across Pakistan the LHC stated that under the constitution of Pakistan the March cannot be stopped.
Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh, in his verdict stated that, “freedom of association is a fundamental right”. He further directed law enforcement agencies to provide security to the participants. He also went on to say that the marchers should “refrain from hate speech and immorality”.
#AuratMarch2020 petition is disposed off in Lahore High Court. Judge mentioned that freedom of association is a fundamental right and March will take place on 8th March. Direction was given to law enforcement to provide security and protection to marchers and issue NoC ASAP. 🙌🏾💪🏻
— Leena #AuratMarch2020 (@Leena_Ghani) March 3, 2020
Aurat March 2020 has been a source of controversy for the past few weeks
From making terrible parody accounts to petitions being filed in court, and even death threats to women– opponents of the March have tried their very best to put as many roadblocks ahead of March 8, as possible.
I am more concerned about Aurat March than corona virus in Pakistan. Corona will go soon but this Aurat march is destroying social values and norms.#Coronaviruspakistan
— Salman Malik (@Salmanmalik100) February 27, 2020
Women write long af manifestos for the march for men to read to understand the Aurat march, but the only thing men understand from Aurat March is the urge to wear what we want, to not cover ourselves up. Why is a man's concept of freedom only limited to clothing?
— of the stars (@sidraaminq) March 1, 2020
Even major political parties have gotten involved in the debate around the right of women to march
There has even been vocal criticism directed toward the March by religious factions and conservative political parties. Because of such vocal criticism and the organizers of the Aurat March asking for support from authorities and leading voices to help them exercise their constitutional right, some politicians have shown their support for the March.
I wholeheartedly support #AuratMarch2020. Voices should be heard, issues should be discussed, and rights should be protected. Any act of suppression will only make our voices louder and stronger. And for anyone who thinks otherwise #ThankyouNext
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) March 1, 2020
Strongly condemn those political ldrs calling on ppl to forcibly stop #AuratMarch. Women like other segments of society have a right to peacefully protest & demand their rights already enshrined in our constitution.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) March 2, 2020
The petition, filed by Judicial Activism Council Chairman Azhar Siddique, alleged that the March was “against the norms of Islam,” adding that it had a “hidden agenda” and would only serve to spread “vulgarity and hatred”. The petition further stated that “there are various anti-state parties present who are funding this Aurat March with the sole purpose of spreading anarchy amongst the masses”. In light of this, Advocate Siddique had asked the LHC promulgate the Acts mentioned in the petition to “silence the advertisement of Aurat March on social media and to regulate protests such as the Aurat March”.
Needless to say, this petition to block the Aurat March being disposed off is a win for everyone’s freedom.
Cover image via: Reuters/Mohsin Raza