Pakistani women hit the streets for equality.
Tens of thousands of women rallied in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Feb. 19 to call for improved rights and gender equality. Organizers of the event called “Empowered Women – Stronger Pakistan” said more than 500,000 female activists and supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party took part, while local media reported up to 1 million participants, Turkish Weekly reported yesterday.
The exact number could not be independently verified. The women, waving MQM flags under a huge portrait of party leader Altaf Hussain, shouted slogans in his support. Hussain, who lives in self-imposed exile in London, addressed the crowd via phone. His speech focused on the liberation and empowerment of women, which he said could make Pakistan one of the strongest countries in the world.
Hussain condemned the so-called “black laws” used against women that condone or fail to address honor killings and repeated domestic violence.