Old image resurfaces as women’s day Haya March
Claim: An image is being circulated on social media with captions claiming it depicts a women’s rally by a group of religious parties on 8th March 2020 held alongside Aurat Azadi March Islamabad.
Fact: The image in question is actually from a women’s rally that was held by Jamaat-e-Islami on 9 August 2019 to support Kashmir.
The Aurat March (Women’s March) is a controversial topic in Pakistan. Every year, a horde of misinformation and disinformation about the march is shared on social media platforms across the country which ends up exacerbating backlash against the event.
An image depicting a large crowd of women protesting has been shared by multiple social media users with captions implying or directly stating that the image shows a women’s day haya (modesty) rally organised by a group of religious parties.
One user shared this picture on Twitter in reply to a Reuters article detailing how the Aurat Azadi March was attacked by counter-protestors throwing stones and shoes. The user shared the image with the following caption, “This probably is way bigger and qualifies to be called women march as well but your biased media outlets would keep them in dark because covering them does not fit in your agenda #AuratMarchIslamabad”.
However, a quick Google reverse image search revealed the picture was actually taken on 9 August 2019, and the women shown protesting were attending a rally in Karachi for the support of Kashmir.
The Haya March was announced by a coalition of different religious parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F, Jamia Hafsa and Jamiat Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. The march was called to counter the Aurat March, which some religious party leaders and participants of the Haya March deemed ‘un-Islamic’, ‘offensive’ and ‘unconstitutional’.
Summary: The image circulating on social media claiming to show a women’s day rally by a group of religious parties is actually from 9 August 2019. It is not from the Haya March, but from a rally held in Karachi to show support for Kashmir.