“Mera jism meri marzi means my body, my permission."
Pakistani actor Ahmed Ali Butt has reacted to the slogan ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ claiming it is a Western campaign that is being exploited in Pakistan.
Recently, on his Instagram story, Butt wrote about how the slogan goes against the country’s cultural and moral values ahead of the Aurat March on Sunday, March 8, 2020. He said:
“I have even less sympathy for people who exploit the so-called “Mera J Meryre XYZ” it’s a western campaign which supports 1. Make abortion legal 2. Abolish ban on organ sale. 3. Make prostitution legal and more …
Butt continued to mention how people are following such “funded movement”. He said:
“So when it comes to women Rights, ISLAM has the most rights and respect for women. It’s sad to see how we forget that and follow a Trend and funded movement.”
Despite Butt’s viewpoint, the organisers of the Aurat March have clarified the purpose of the slogan that is about bodily autonomy and independence for women.
They took to Instagram to explain the purpose behind the Aurat March 2020, saying:
“It is mind-boggling when this poster from the last Aurat March went viral that men asked, ‘Oh now women want to parade naked in the streets?’
“When it is the patriarchal, oppressive and inhumane jigra system that has forced hundreds of women to be stripped naked and paraded in the village under the alleged crime of adultery.
“Mera jism meri marzi means that women want bodily autonomy and independence.
“To be able to have the right to choose in matters concerning their bodies. To choose what to wear without fear of rape.
“To choose who to marry. To choose whether they want to have children, how many and when they want to have them.
“To not have their husbands rape them because they feel entitled to their bodies after marriage.”
“To have access to mobility in their day-to-day lives for work and for leisure. To not have their bodies maimed in the name of having their sexualities controlled.
“In Pakistan, female genital mutilation occurs behind closed doors and in whispers. There is no basis in any text or science for it except to control a woman’s sexuality.
“It is not ‘circumcision’, it is violence. It is a violence enforced on young children by members of their family. It is a theft of autonomy and agency.
“Mera jism meri marzi means my body, my permission. It is a loud call to remind you that women are and should be in charge of their own bodies – just like men.
“Mera jism meri marzi means an enforcement of a human right every individual is born with, but women, trans, and non-binary person are robbed of. #AuratMarch2020 #AtoZFeminism.”
Butt’s belief is something the organisers of the Aurat March strongly deny. It is not about adopting a western campaign rather helping women gain independence.