Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Women in South Asia vulnerable to acid attacks

There have been an increasing number of acid attacks against women in South Asia, especially in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India, BBC News reported Wednesday. The attacks are usually committed by males against poor women who had rejected them. According to the article, the intended message is “if you can’t be mine, you won’t be any one else’s either.”

The acid attacks can be lethal, leaving some blind, and all permanently scarred. This leaves victims very vulnerable, as it is difficult to live in a society where looks are so important, especially for women.

One victimized schoolteacher had to quit because her disfigurement was terrifying her schoolchildren. Some employers even refuse to hire acid victims. However, the required surgeries and skin grafts are too expensive for most women to afford.

Although regularly published in newspapers, acid attacks on women are still a relatively new issue for government institutions and NGOs. In the court, women are blamed for not accepting the man’s offer, and the offenders are let off with a lighter sentence. These women have done no wrong, but yet they continue to bear their scars and to be shunned by society.

For the full article, click here.


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