The Awami Workers Party (AWP) extends solidarity with brave women of Pakistan fighting the worst kind of patriarchy, obscurantism, extremism, repression, the militarization of politics and society.
On this occasion, we commemorate all our comrades who laid their lives in the struggle for women’s liberation, equal rights, against patriarchy, oppression, and exploitation.
We also remember the brave women from Palestine to Kashmir, Lebanon to Iran, Chile to Brazil and other countries who are fighting against their despotic rulers, state oppression, imperialism, and Zionism.
We salute the women of Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan who are struggling for their rights and for the freedom of their loved ones.
In a joint statement the AWP President, Yousuf Mustikhan and Secretary-General Akhtar Hussain said: “the party fully supports and stands by the rising feminist movement which is pushing for the emancipation of women, an egalitarian economic and social order, peace and dignified living.”
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the misogynist propaganda and threats hurled against women marchers by rightwing, obscurantist, religious bigots as well as commercial media for distorting the genuine demands of women and creating hysteria and fear in the country.
“We welcome the judiciary for their bold decisions on the Aurat March and demand the government and the administration to provide foolproof security to the marchers and refrain from appeasement of the extremist elements,” the leadership said.
“On this International Working Women’s Day, let us resolve to revive the revolutionary zeal and message of the liberation of women, transformation of society and equal and respectable social relationships.
As our society is seething under the patriarchal, fascist and militarist violence, we renew our call for a revolutionary struggle against oppressive state policies, violence and exploitation in all forms and manifestations, religious fundamentalism, racism and patriarchy, President Mustikhan said.
The party acknowledges that women and marginalized people cannot be free unless the inter-linked structures of violence and exploitation are dismantled.
Millions of working women are exploited daily at homes, working places, offices, at farms in rural areas robbing them of the opportunities, time and resources to fulfil their dreams and potential. The alarming ratio of violence and harassment rife in Pakistani society has made both homes, public places unsafe for women and girls, Akhtar Hussain said.
They cannot go through life without experiencing the traumas of physical, sexual, mental and emotional violence that debilitate them, keeping women away from public spaces, education, work and power.
Several women die daily from a lack of basic medical and reproductive health care, due to apathy of the state, institutional systems, shaped by patriarchs and justified by a self-serving religious clergy.
Women have been relegated to a secondary status, without equal rights to inheritance, testimony, or leadership.
The AWP resolve to struggle for a society where women can exist and move free of fear not silenced and shamed for speaking out; where abusers can be held to account; where women and men can respectfully engage in relationships as equals; where women are able to care for and decide on matters of their health, inheritance, Mr Hussain said.
Today, the rising tide of fascism, state militarism, imperialism have pushed the world to the brink of war and destruction by inciting religious, racial and ethnic hatred, seeking to reverse women’s freedoms; and have torn apart our lands, impoverished working class, made youth fodder for war and conflict, left children orphaned without the care of their fathers and women homeless and widowed. In our region, these ideologies and actions have affected in particular the Baloch, Pakhtun, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Hazara, and women of Gilgit-Baltistan, among others, who have been forced to struggle for their basic right to live and breathe as free citizens, they said.
“We resolve to push back the rise of fascism and assert more strongly than ever the need for women’s leadership to build a genuinely progressive and egalitarian alternative to fascism, capitalism, and imperialism, and to create a society free from weapons of mass destruction, warmongering, state violence, abductions, and terror.”
The party acknowledges that capitalist greed for profit has pushed the climate of the planet to the brink of disaster because of the rampant exploitation of resources and the exploitation of nature and of women’s labour, essential for capitalist development.
The AWP calls upon all working-class women, men, youth to get united and launch a struggle for the restoration of the climatic balance necessary for the continued sustenance of human life, for a world without violence and fear, in which all our aspirations can co-exist without any exploitation and prejudices, they said.
The struggle launched by women in various cities, to speak out against brutalities and violence by capitalism, imperialism, feudalism, tribalism, religious fundamentalism, and militarism all of which are implicated with patriarchy must continue.
The party vows to fight against the hyper-masculine ideologies fortified by the state under the garb of security, outdated cultural and misinterpreted religious norms and traditions. Thousands of women have become victims of these ideologies and traditions, they concluded
AWP information Secretary