aurat march 2021
Image Source: Global Village Space

On International Women’s Day on 8th March, Pakistanis witness the Aurat March in action. Women from all backgrounds, ages and ethnicities come together to march for their rights and for justice to make this country a better place for women.

Here are their demands for 2021:

1. Better Healthcare Budget

Aurat March 2021 demands 5% of the GDP’s funds. As a result, women-related diseases and issues can be better addressed. In the long term, this means that thousands of women will not have to lose their life for childbirth, reproduction or menstruation-related issues.

2. End to privatizing Healthcare

In line with their demand number 1 is demand #2 which is calling for an end to be put to efforts of privatizing healthcare. 

3. Investment in Rehabilitative Programs

Aurat March demands investment by the government in rehabilitative schemes to ensure better health for women.

4. Acknowledge the Unpaid as Work

In an NYT article, it was estimated that if women’s unpaid labour was accounted for, they would be trillionaires by now. Aurat March demands that women’s “informal” contributions to the economy are recognised.

5. COVID-19’s Gendered Treatment

Aurat March 2021 demands that the government take into account the gendered differences in access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Women, as a minority alongside other minorities, will have unequal access and will suffer as a result.

6. Drug Addiction’s Status

Another demand of this year’s march is that drug addiction not be criminalised. It should be viewed as a public health issue rather than a legal one for safer rehabilitation of people.

7. Equal Access To Contraceptives

Moreover, another issue being tackled by the demands is access to contraceptives. 

8. Consent-Based Education

To promote consent-based education in primary and secondary schools is to ensure that our children do not fall prey to child abuse.

9. No More Forced Gender Reassignments

Additionally, Aurat March 2021 demands forceful gender reassignment surgeries be viewed as a gender-based violent act.

10. Equal Access 

Aurat March 2021 also demands that abortion facilities be safely available to all women. This is because unsafe abortion has been the cause of the majority of female deaths.

11. End Workplace Harassment

Say no to workplace harassment which has silenced many women and driven them to end their lives.

12. Equal Access to Healthcare for Transgenders

Transgenders are often denied healthcare facilities which have caused us to lose many lives. 

13. Environmental Health

Lastly, the final demand is to ensure that the environment and community’s health is considered in all forms of developmental interventions.

All in all, these demands prove that Aurat March is a march for the betterment of our society as a whole.

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