#AuratMarch2019: Manifesto [Complete Text]

#AuratMarch2019: Manifesto [Complete Text]

To download a copy of the manifesto, click here: Aurat March 2019 Manifesto


  • Economic Justice
    1. We demand that the labour of all women and gender and sexual minorities be recognised and accorded dignity, and be given the right to earn a living wage and freed from economic, capitalist exploitation. We ask for legal protections for women working in informal industries, home-based work and the agricultural sector that are often the sites of labour exploitation as well as sites of harassment or violence;
    2. We agitate for the implementation of Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 at all workplaces to ensure a 500-601 safe working environment for women and all gender and sexual minorities;
    3. We demand that women’s contribution to the care economy through home-making and caring for their families be recognised as unpaid labour that is equal to other types of work;
    4. We demand safe working conditions for women in workplaces, including informal industries, and the provision of maternity leave and day care centres to ensure that women are able to participate in the workforce.

  • Environmental Justice
    1. We demand our right to climate justice be protected and enforced and our right to climate resilience be respected;
    2. We demand access to safe drinking water as part of the fundamental right to life;
    3. We demand emergency measures to be taken to ensure safe and clean air;
    4. We call for the protection of animals as an integral part of both our natural and urban environments. We ask urban and rural local governments to cease the culling of stray animals;
    5. We demand immediate steps be taken to ensure and protect our food sovereignty and the recognition of women’s participation in the production of food and cash crops.

  • Accountability and Restorative Justice against Violence
    1. We demand an immediate and total end to gender-based violence against women, all genders and sexual minorities, both in offline and online spaces;
    2. We call for an end to, and accountability for, violence by the state in the form of police brutality, especially on the bodies of women and transgender persons;
    3. We agitate for reform of defamation laws and procedural laws to ensure that victims and survivors of sexual violence and harassment are not silenced or intimidated;
    4. We demand meaningful access to the legal and justice system, including the courts and the police, through radical reforms to ensure that women, transgender persons and gender/sexual minorities can seek justice;
    5. We agitate for implementation of anti-harassment laws and policies in places of work and educational institutes to ensure that schools and universities are safe spaces for all;
    6. It is our demand that the law be applied equally to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, particularly where women and vulnerable populations face serious challenges in accessing justice.

  • Police brutality
    1. We stand in solidarity with victims of police brutality. Incidents like the Sahiwal massacre are proof of growing lawlessness perpetrated by those who are supposed to protect people’s lives. The continuity and recurrence of such incidents proves that law enforcement agencies do not provide safety to citizens. We stand by the families of Naqeebullah Mehsud and the victims of the Sahiwal massacre, and demand an impartial judicial inquiry of the Sahiwal incident.
    2. We assert that police reforms be put into action specifically focusing on disarming the police and ensuring greater accountability for abuse of power.

  • Enforced Disappearances
    1. We proclaim that enforced disappearances are one of the gravest human rights violations in the land. We demand that the state put a stop to such practices, and those who have been disappeared be brought before civilian courts and granted their right to due process.
    2. While we recognise that women may also be enforceably disappeared, it is men who primarily suffer at the hands of this brutal practice. We also believe that there is an enduring impact of enforced disappearances on women, which is not adequately addressed by governments and societies. Women—as the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of the disappeared—play particular roles and experience exacerbated hardships and suffer psychological harm after a disappearance.

  • Inclusion
    1. We demand equal access to public spaces for differently-abled persons/persons with disabilities by making buildings disability-friendly;
    2. We demand equal recognition and accommodation for less visible disabilities, such as chronic and mental illnesses that fall disproportionately on women;
    3. We demand anti-discriminatory measures to ensure that transgender persons have equal access to public spaces, public resources, healthcare, work and protection under the law;
    4. In principle we do not believe that university students should have hostel timings as they are adults, however, if hostel timings are to be implemented, then they should be done regardless of gender.

  • Reproductive Justice
    1. We demand the right to autonomy and decision-making over our bodies—we do not require permission from the state or families;
    2. We petition the government to amend the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 so that the minimum age is raised from 16 to 18;
    3. We agitate for equal access to quality reproductive and sexual health services for women, all genders and sexual minorities.

  • Access to Public Spaces
    1. We assert the right to access to the city and public spaces, and ask that steps be taken to ensure that public spaces are inclusive and safe space for women. By marching in the streets we hope to affirm this right;
    2. We demand affordable, safe and gender-inclusive public transport and clean public toilets;
    3. The moral-policing of women be discouraged and recognised as an impediment to equal access to public spaces and the development of self.

  • Rights of Religious Minorities
    1. We demand reform of personal laws of religious minorities by eliminating discriminatory provisions. The virtual absence of laws deprives minority communities to seek legal protection in their matrimonial matters, placing women at a disadvantaged situation;
    2. We demand an amendment to the Christian Divorce Act 1869 that allows adultery as a ground for divorce as it violates and damages the dignity of Christians, especially Christian women, due to the social and cultural implications ascribed to the accusations of adultery. Furthermore, we demand the formulation of rules of business for the Punjab Anand Karaj Act 2017 for Sikh Community and the Hindu Marriage Act 2017.

  • Anti-war
    1. We believe that war is a business. In the end no one wins except corporations and fascist ideologues. Wars militarise our everyday lives, create fear and fill the public with hatred. Until militarism is seen for what it is—a mechanism that further solidifies toxic masculinity and perpetuates violence—we will never be able to achieve peace;
    2. We assert that the ongoing conflict between Pakistan and India over Kashmir has deliberately been created and sustained by power-holders in both countries in order to further their own interests. In all of this, the voices of Kashmiri people, and especially Kashmiri women, are never heard. We stand by the people of Kashmir in their struggle for self-determination and human rights and we condemn the violence of state and non-state actors in this region.
    3. As feminists we denounce policies of mass destruction, militarisation and warmongering. It is not enough to hope that this business of war will resolve itself – we, as feminists resolve to actively fight against it.


Lightly edited for clarity and format.

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