Last year’s Aurat March focused on bodily autonomy, however, this year’s march aims to emphasize on discrimination and patriarchal violence in healthcare faced by sexual minority groups and women in Pakistan.
One of the organizers of Aurat March 2021, Noor appeared in an interview with a publication and said, “Aurat March Lahore ’21 will focus on our sehat ke masail [healthcare struggles]. We have also been listing them down in our manifesto and charter of demands on social media in both Urdu and English.”
The 21-year-old was asked if there would be less people this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she responded and said, “On the contrary, there is a chance that the number of participants may increase this year.”
Talking about how ongoing pandemic effected healthcare access for sexual minority groups, Noor stated, “For trans and other marginalised communities, the source of income, and access to basic healthcare facilities, which was previously limited, became near to nonexistent during this time.”
Social activist, Sheema Kermani told a publication that “Aurat March this year as a whole aims to tackle patriarchal violence in all its forms. We feel that nothing is being done by the state institutions to curb violence against women and transgender people. Naturally, that violence then stems into our healthcare as well; even women in the healthcare are being subjected to it.”
She added, “Since we are always tackling patriarchy, we will focus on the violence which is overlooked by society and all its institutions.”