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I couldn’t help but think about my younger sister zealously informing me, "the etymology of the word 'aurat' is misogynistic." The etymological roots of 'aurat' give us meanings that range from 'vulnerability' to 'genitals', and later, to 'wife', thus reducing women to, of course, their weakness, reproductive organs and their relation to husbands. I was not surprised at the revelation, but definitely amused, for the phenomenon is not unique to our language. The word ‘woman’ can also be traced back to the meaning 'little man'. And 'woman', too, later became used to indicate 'wife'.

When I saw that the mobilisers were using 'aurat' instead of 'women', the distinction meant everything to me. While the choice to label what is obviously a women’s march in local terms may seem pedantic to some, it has strong bearings on how South Asian activists and feminists can and will vernacularise the fight for women’s rights. It is no secret that feminism is often co-opted by many to be viewed as a Western construct which marginalises non-Western identities. Western hegemony over feminist movements then feeds into a repulsion towards feminism that is found in countries such as Pakistan.

credits : Zuneera Shah
Templates Yard

Posted by Numair Fakhar

Numair Fakhar  authors typically do the following: Choose subject matter that interests readers. Write fiction or nonfiction through scripts, novels, and biographies. Conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail.

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