Vigil outside 10 Downing street in London for Noor Mukadam

Published August 1, 2021
Members of the South Asian diaspora gather in London on Saturday to condemn violence against women. — Photo by Zoha Waseem
Members of the South Asian diaspora gather in London on Saturday to condemn violence against women. — Photo by Zoha Waseem

LONDON: Members of the Pakistani diaspora and rights activists in London gathered in Westminster on Saturday to hold a vigil for Noor Mukadam and other victims of femicide and gender-based violence in South Asia.

Scores of participants gathered near 10 Downing Street, holding posters that read ‘Female Lives Matter’, ‘No Violence, No Silence’ and chanting ‘Azadi’.

The event was organised by Progressive Voices, a women-led forum for social and political consciousness. Noor Zaheer, one of the founders of the organisation, led the call for the vigil.

“I am here today and have organised this protest because we cannot stay silent about the increasing incidents of violence in South Asia against women and girls. We have to raise our voice against this injustice, and for equality. That is how we will bring change,” Zaheer told journalists.

Pakistan govt assailed for not passing domestic violence bill

Urooj Asif, one of the speakers at the event, introduced two children, aged 10 and 11, who read out a poem which paid tribute to women.

“I am glad so many people positively answered our call for the protest. We are not politically affiliated, we are regular people who have had enough,” Asif said. “We are British Asians, from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and we want to tell our government at 10 Downing Street that they have to act. [They have to] talk to the Pakistan government and ask them to address the lawlessness and lack of accountability of those who kill their wives and daughters.”

Zoha Waseem, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Global City Policing at UCL, spoke about Noor Mukadam, Quratulain, Saima and other women who are victims of gender-based violence. “So many women are victims of violence but we [Pakistan] haven’t passed the domestic violence bill. The prime minister made some [controversial] statements some weeks ago. We want to raise our voice against this violence. We stand with the families of victims, and we want a better society.”

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2021

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...