In an event titled “Aurat”, organised in Karachi on March 13, more than 100 social activists from various regions in Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab provinces protested against the abduction and forced conversion of young girls from minority communities, particularly Hindu community.
During the occasion, many activists talked about atrocities on females and the apathy shown by the government authorities towards such incidents.
The speakers alleged that although police officials fail to register FIRs in kidnapping cases, medical and legal authorities connive to declare underage girls as major and eligible for marriage.
Birma Jeswani, an activist based in Karachi, stated that incidents of kidnapping minors, declaring them as major and then forced conversion have been rampant in Sindh for over a decade and called for an immediate end to such incidents.
Hundreds of people, including men, women, and transgender people, marched in Karachi on March 12 to support eradicating poverty, hunger and discrimination based on gender, Pakistan-based Geo News reported.
People from different classes and age categories joined the march.
The central theme for this year’s Aurat March was “Riyasat jawab do, bhook ka hisab do” (State give an answer and be accountable for hunger).
According to Geo News, the venue for the march was changed for the second consecutive year as the marchers gathered at the Burns garden Karachi at around 4 pm. The date of the march was also changed this year from March 8 to 12 as the organisers wanted to hold the march on March 12 to ensure maximum participation.
But compared to previous marches, there were fewer people there. An organiser told Geo. tv that the country’s current law and order situation could be the cause of the reduced attendance.
One of the organisers on the occasion said: “Hunger, poverty, climate change and inflation are all feminist issues as women — who are a majority in Pakistan — bear the brunt of all these issues more heavily than other sections of society.”
To promote awareness of topics including forced conversions, bonded labour, and transgender rights, the event was distinguished by musical performances.