“Generation Equality” the theme of International Women’s day 2020 aimed at creating a world with equal rights for women. However, on March 8, women gatherings in as many as six countries were obliterated by “patriarchal” rulers and governments.
In Pakistan, a women’s march was attacked with sticks and stones reflecting at the challenge the feminist movement faces in a country where women are still killed in the name of honour and age-old traditions. According to reports, on March 8, the Aurat March was attacked by several Lal Masjid affiliates who pelted stones, bricks and even shoes at women participants. In Kyrgyzstan, masked men attacked a rally in the country capital Bishkek, tearing up placards as police arrested the demonstrators. Later a spokesperson for the force said that they had detained the protestors for “their own safety.”
Meanwhile, Turkish women faced strong opposition from the authorities as they tried to organise a march to celebrate the occasion. Police in Turkey fired tear gas at women to deter them from marching to Istanbul’s central avenue. This came as the city’s governor, Ali Yerlikaya, ordered to close down the Taksim Metro station and nearby Sishane station. He also announced that all roads leading to the main square would be blocked, international media reported.
However, there were mass rallies in Chile with 1,50,000 protestors gathering in Santiago. According to reports, clashes broke out as police used tear gas and water cannon to prevent protesters heading towards the presidential palace. Meanwhile, the North American country, Mexico which has been battling the high rates of violence against women saw record numbers on streets as they attended the annual event through the capital Mexico City.
Meanwhile, France saw a more aggressive protest as topless Femen activist wearing protective glasses and masks gathered in Paris to denounce, “the patriarchial pandemic.” The protestors wearing a mask chanted slogans such as “we are making a revolution,” international media reported. Around 40 members of the group reportedly gathered at the Place de la Concorde where they set off purple smoke flares, chanted slogans and held banners.