Marvi Sirmed

Pakistani human rights activist

Marvi Sirmed (born 11 June 1970) is a Pakistani political commentator, journalist, and human rights activist.


  • "My body, my choice" is an issue that is relevant to Pakistani women across all classes. When a woman is killed in the name of "honor," her body is attacked; when a woman is denied the right to choose her partner, her body and her choice are compromised; and when a woman faces domestic violence, her body is attacked. All other issues that our "Aurat March" (women's march) raised are equally important, but they all emanate from a deep-rooted misogyny in our society. Women do not have the agency over their own bodies and that is the main issue, in my opinion.
    • Marvi Sirmed, Pakistani feminist
  • “My body, my choice,” means that no society can wage their wars at the expense of a woman’s body. We ask the men not to use our bodies for their ghairat or honor. We ask them to stop killing us in the name of honor and give us the right to say no because we have the right to say no to anything that we don’t feel comfortable with......We must have the right to say that we can’t tolerate sexual harassment and to say no to decisions regarding our marriages by other [family members]. Our religion gives us the right to choose our life partner, so why not society?....Further, we have the right not to be judged on the basis of our physical appearance...
  • Not only do these (Blasphemy) laws have no religious standing in Islam, they are repugnant to the basic principles of justice, equality and human rights in addition to challenging the basic spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan which guarantees equal rights to all citizens.

Quotes about Marvi Sirmed

  • But - and alas, there is a but- I don't believe it is in Pakistan's best interest to be the country whose armed forces consume the largest percentage of national income of any military in the world.I don't believe it is in Pakistan's interest to adopt a policy of seeking 'strategic depth' by destabilizing it's neighbors.I don't believe it is in Pakistan's best interest to try to wrest Kashmir from India by fair means or foul.I don't believe it is in Pakistan's best interest to be the cradle and crucible of militant Islamist terrorism.I don't believe it's in Pakistan's best interest to be a country where no elected civilian government has ever served a full term. And I do believe that any Pakistani liberal worth the name (take a bow, Marvi Sirmed) should have no difficulty in agreeing with any of these propositions.

See also

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