As gender and feminist scholars, and some of us members of the Engenderings collective, we express full solidarity with organisers of Aurat Azadi March in Pakistan, who organised peaceful events in different cities on March 8, marked as International Women’s Day across the world. We condemn the vicious online campaign, blasphemy allegations based on falsified evidence, and threats to organisers and participants of the march. And stand in deep, unequivocal support with feminist activists challenging right-wing and anti-feminist forces in Pakistan.
Feminist activists the world over are facing sustained backlash and reactionary violence by right-wing forces. Threats to Pakistani feminists are being made in this global context where feminist activism and scholarship are under attack, and must be understood as such. As feminist activists and scholars, we appeal to the concerned authorities in the Government of Pakistan to protect the rights of feminist activists. We also appeal to feminist comrades and allies to express solidarity with organisers of Aurat Azadi March. #WeStandWithAuratMarchPakistan
Niharika Pandit, PhD researcher LSE Gender and Engenderings member
Alanah Mortlock, PhD researcher LSE Gender and Engenderings member
Tomás Ojeda, PhD researcher LSE Gender and Engenderings member
Hannah Wright, PhD researcher LSE Gender
Lizzie Hobbs, PhD researcher LSE Gender
Magda Muter, PhD researcher LSE Gender
Lucas Mantilla Garino, PhD researcher LSE Gender
Zuzana Dančíková, PhD researcher LSE Gender and Engenderings member
Priya Raghavan, PhD alumnus LSE Gender
Senel Wanniarachchi, PhD researcher LSE Gender
Florence Waller – Carr, PhD researcher LSE Gender
Claire Wilmot, PhD researcher LSE Gender and Engenderings member
Nour Almazidi, PhD researcher LSE Gender and Engenderings member
Melissa Chacón, PhD researcher LSE Gender and Engenderings member
Please consider signing this open letter shared by comrades: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdtf0eQAWUQUm6jWS7y5-YeztkZQRsSgnW909Deygjwf6uxeQ/viewform
More information can be found here:
Statement of solidarity from LSE Department of Gender Studies:
Around the globe, feminist activists and scholars are under severe attack. Their liberty, scholarship and very life is under threat.
In recent weeks, a vicious disinformation campaign has been launched in online spaces against the Organisers of the Aurat March in Pakistan, after they organized peaceful rallies and events in different parts of the country on the occasion of 8 March, International Women’s Day this year.
The campaign deliberately insinuates that organisers and participants of the Aurat March raised slogans and displayed banners with blasphemous content. The clearly baseless allegations of anti-Islamic banners and slogans are still being circulated to sustain legal petitions calling for police cases against Aurat March organisers.
The lingering threat posed by continuing circulation of these false accusations cannot be understated. If a formal police case were to be registered despite all that has been established, the prospect of unruly elements taking the law into their own hands, as has happened in Pakistan repeatedly, will be greatly enhanced.
We are extremely concerned, and we call on feminist scholars, activists and allies to raise their voices in solidarity with Aurat March in Pakistan.
Download a letter requesting the Government of Pakistan to take immediate action to protect the lives and freedoms of Pakistani feminist activists, and take action.