ISLAMABAD - It is not easy as pie for women who are participating in the protest rallies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek.

Stranded under the open sky and braving intermittent rain showers, many women say they are missing their families back home. Still they are determined to stay in Islamabad till the demands of their leaders Imran Khan and Tahir-ul Qadri are met.

Tahira Noor, 37, one of a few female protesters, said she left her three-year-old baby at home in Lahore as she was told that the stay in Islamabad would not be long. Now she thinks that her stay in the federal capital may get prolonged.

Another woman Sajida spent the whole night on pavement of road at Aabpara Market near a drain along with her son Sharoon. "Mosquitoes kept bothering us the whole night. I am afraid that my five-year-old son Sharoon might fall ill," said Sajida, 30, who has come from Faisalabad.

"We are not afraid of harsh weather because we are the oppressed people of Pakistan who have come to Islamabad to voice our demands. We aim to sit here until our leader calls off the march," said Asia Noreen, a supporter of PTI.

Most of the women who talked to this scribe belonged to low-income group. Farhana, 42, a resident of Lahore, is not a diehard follower of Dr Tahirul Qadri alone as she has been participating in rallies of other political leaders in Punjab. "Such rallies provide you with free meals and juices," she said.

Several women and young girls in the protest complained about the lack of basic facilities including toilets, food and washing facilities. "The weather is bad. We spent the night under a tree near Zero Point," said Madiha Alam, 18, a PAT supporter.

Some young girls fear harassment in the protest camp that is dominated by young supporters. They prefer to move in groups to avoid any eve-teasing.

Fariha and her sister Maryam said they had to stand near police officials as boys at the venue were teasing them after their clothes were soaked with rain.

"The management should realise that we protestors are also Pakistanis. There are hardly any washrooms for women here. Yesterday, we used containers as washroom," said Saima, a PTI supporter, who had come from Gujranwala.