Ban on Aurat March lands in Lahore High Court amid outrage


LAHORE – Authorities in the country’s second-largest city Lahore denied permission for Aurat March, a controversial event to mark International Women’s Day, as the event continues to draw backlash in South Asian nation.

In an open show of defiance, thousands of women are preparing to demand their rights with bold and edgy slogans, in accordance with previous events but this time Deputy Commissioner (DC) Lahore Rafia Haider has decided against giving permission to organise the citing security concerns, and controversial slogans and banners supporting women’s rights.

The move draws quite a heat shortly and eventually started a legal tussle as Lahore High Court Bar Association Secretary Sabhat Rizvi challenged the unilateral move. Several activists including Khawar Mumtaz, Leena Ghani, and Hiba Akbar opposed the ban, calling it a clear violation of fundamental rights.

It maintained that the order suppressed freedom of speech as well as the right to non-discrimination and to be treated in accordance with the law.

The recent ban comes amid ongoing debate as a large number of people flagged it against Pakistani culture and social norms. Right-wing party members called it vulgar and offensive as slogans like Mera Jism Meri Marzi sparked controversy and triggered strong reactions.

As many opposed these ideas, Aurat Marchers called it needed to draw attention to the issues neglected by mainstream media and political parties.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Amnesty International denounced the denial of permission and called on authorities to end unnecessary restrictions.

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