KARACHI: A ‘Working Women’s Rally’ has been planned on March 8 to observe International Women’s Day, rights activists announced on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference here at the Karachi Press Club (KPC), they condemned various recent disturbing and shameful incidents against women, including the one in Lahore where a woman was attacked by a mob for wearing a dress with Arabic script written on it.

They demanded that the anti-women and extremist elements involved in those incidents be immediately arrested.

They also strongly condemned the brutal murder of well-known intellectual and teacher Hidayat Lohar and demanded arrest and punishment of the people involved in the murder.

Announce rally on Friday to mark International Women’s Day

About the rally, they said that it would begin from the KPC Chowk and culminate at the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi.

According to the details, prominent women leaders belonging to resistance movements will speak on the occasion, sing revolutionary songs and present tableaux based on women’s rights and their struggles. The rally will also be attended by thousands of workers, labourers, fishermen, health workers, transgender persons, journalists, teachers as well as women fighting against enforced disappearances and tragic killings.

Speaking at a press conference at the KPC, Zehra Khan of the Home Based Women Workers Federation said: “On International Women’s Day, the focus and main slogan of our struggle is ‘Women’s Resistance: For Democratic Freedom, Economic Autonomy and Social Security’.

“We, the working women, the resistant women, who are half of the population, will reaffirm on this day that our relentless struggle will continue against the shrinking democratic freedoms, increasing economic helplessness and imposed social decline. The resistant role of women in the ongoing struggle is emerging as a hope for society.”

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) chairperson Asad Iqbal Butt told the press conference that the “working and resisting woman knows that her struggle will be successful only when she strengthens her connection with the political process and the struggle for the rights of her class, the oppressed and the subjugated people, and the most important and first principle of this is resistance”.

Others who also spoke included transgender activist Kami Sid, Subhagi Bheel of the Sindh Agriculture General Workers Union, Habibuddin Junadi of the People’s Labour Bureau, Saeed Baloch of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and Sahrish Mehmood of the Nach Natak Mandli.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2024

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