International Women’s day is not my day

Published: March 8, 2012

It’s not my day because I am a woman every day of the year. I don’t want 24 hours to remind the world that I will speak what’s on my mind, make my own decisions and not be objectified, simply because I don’t need to be given what’s mine to begin with anyway;  health and safety, education, equal opportunities and control over my body and life choices.

My rights are not your charity. Please don’t pat yourself on the back to assuage your guilt, if there is any to begin with, for being nice to me today.  I moved beyond meekly asking to be treated like a thinking human being. I was always a woman, I had to remind the world that I am human too. I don’t need to assert that anymore because I am above that.

There is so much that I do every day of the year. I raise families, I work, I study, I run countries, I give, I take and I struggle. There is so much that is done to me. I am raped, paraded naked in front of villages, I am sold into prostitution, I am told what to do, I am spoken at and I am spoken for. To quantify all of this in one day is regressive, insulting almost.

A day to mark my existence reduces me to exactly what I don’t want to be, an anomaly that does not fit in the regular working of things beyond its reproductive organs and hence needs special consideration. I am all that you are and so much more. I don’t want an emphatic pink parade with the clock ticking to separate me from you because that negates my equality.

I have ample reason to celebrate who I am every day of the year.

Amna Iqbal

Amna Iqbal

Publications designer at The Express Tribune, she tweets @amna_iqb (

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