‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’: NY based singer highlights women rights in Pakistan via new song

LONDON/NEW YORK: A New York-based Pakistani singer has highlighted women’s rights in the Pakistani context in her recently-released song titled “Mera Jism Meri Marzi.”

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Sophia Jamil, also known as Fifi, said the song is a tribute to Pakistani women who are trying to make their mark in Pakistan by standing up for their rights.

The slogan ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi,’ or ‘My Body My Choice,’ became popular in the advent of Aurat March — a women’s rights movement that spread across Pakistan and held its rally for the third consecutive year. Despite opposition from multiple quarters in the country, Pakistani women — including Jamil who hails from Chitral but lives in New York — have used art and music to highlight the issue of women’s rights.

Speaking to a private news channel Jamil, 22, said: “I watched women and men come out in masses on the streets to protest for equality … they called it the Aurat March and I was in awe.

“I was taking a closer look at the banners that the people were holding, which said all sorts of things from talking about the wage gap to talking about honour killings and acid attacks, all the posters so creative and colourful,” she added.

Jamil — whose spent her early childhood in Pakistan but was raised in New York City — further stated that she used the slogan ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi‘ as the hook line for her song as she went in depth to discuss all the social issues that it encompassed. She has received critical acclaim on her song from numerous Pakistani women as it resonated with them.

A corporate lawyer who took part in the Aurat March 2020 said: “Fifi’s song is a great way to highlight women’s rights. I hope it has a strong impact on the masses who sadly, don’t believe women should have equal rights.”

Speaking on the controversy surrounding her song, the young singer said: “There will always be critics but anyone who thinks that woman asking for equal rights has anything to do with some ‘Western propaganda’ needs to look at the facts.

“There are real issues that woman are facing in Pakistan, such as the highest gender wage gap in the world, more than 1,000 honour killings a year, child brides, acid attacks, human trafficking, and the list goes on, unfortunately.

“Some of these issues not only pertain to women in Pakistan but to women all across the world, including the US.”

After the song went viral on social media, the Aurat March organisers got in touch with Jamil and thanked her for raising their voice. The singer has now taken a gap year from college to pursue music on a full-time basis.

The full lyrics are:

Mera Jism Meri Marzi

Say it loud and proud

Mera Jism Meri Marzi

Stand with my crowd

Breaking glass ceilings

making our mark

We were in the dark

Lit it up with a spark

Aurat kya chahti?

We want equal rights

Wage gap too high

That’s why we fight

Acid attack

Badtameezi ki height

These are some fact

And don’t take’em light

Young girl getting married

But should be in school

Young boys cat calling

Cuz they think its cool

Wanna wear what we want

Feel what we feel

Without fear of being killed

Like my girl Qandeel

You honour’s your own

Not mine to carry

Killings on the rise

Still the stats are scary

Shaadi mubarak

But too young to marry

Shaadi mubarak

But forced to marry

Mera Jism Meri Marzi

Say it loud and proud

Mera Jism Meri Marzi

Stand with my crowd

Breaking glass ceilings

making our mark

We were in the dark

Lit it up with a spark

We march for our rights

In the fight for equality

Women in the workforce

Empower the economy

Same job less pay

And that’s on misogyny

My body my choice

Call that autonomy

Respect hamara haq hai

Kya baat ghalat?

Even without dupatta

Respect hamara haq

You can throw stones

It’ll only make us louder

Can’t break us cuz

Women got the power

My body my choice

Come on say It louder

Seeing girls marching

I couldn’t be prouder

Do it for your nation

And do it for your daughters

Mera Jism Meri Marzi

Stand with my crowd

Breaking glass ceilings

making our mark

We were in the dark

Lit it up with a spark

Mera Jism Meri Marzi

Stand with my crowd

Breaking glass ceilings

making our mark

We were in the dark

Lit it up with a spark

Pakistan Zindabad!”

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