Monday, 12 August 2013

Six forms of femicide in India by by Rita Banerji, Founder of The 50 Million Missing Campaign

Accessed 12th August 2013 
http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/RitaBanerji-1601883-six-forms-femicide-india/

Six forms of femicide in India

A presentation at the U.N. Symposium on Femicide on Nov 26, 2012 by Rita Banerji, Founder of The 50 Million Missing Campaign





Why Aren't More Girls Attracted To Physics? by SHANKAR VEDANTAM

Accessed 12th August 2013

Why Aren't More Girls Attracted To Physics?

August 09, 2013 3:03 AM

You don't need to be a social scientist to know there is a gender diversity problem in technology. The tech industry in Silicon Valley and across the nation is overwhelmingly male-dominated.
That isn't to say there aren't women working at tech firms. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer andSheryl Sandberg of Facebook have raised the profile of women at high-tech firms. But those prominent exceptions do not accurately portray who makes up the engineering ranks at those and other tech companies.
Visit Silicon Valley and you will hear many people talk about the need to increase the number of female hackers. The conventional wisdom about why there are so few female coders usually points a finger at disparities in the talent pool, which is linked to disparities in tech education. In fact, starting as early as adolescence, girls and boys often choose different academic paths. When the time comes for young people to elect to go into engineering school, serious gender disparities become visible.
A new study by University of Texas sociologist Catherine Riegle-Crumb in the journal Social Science Quarterly offers an interesting new perspective on this divide. Along with co-author Chelsea Moore, Riegle-Crumb decided to dive into the gender divide in high school physics courses. (Even as the gender divide in some areas of science has diminished, a stubborn gap has persisted for decades in high school physics.)
Riegle-Crumb had a simple question: The national divide showed boys were more likely to take physics than girls. But was this divide constant across the country?
In an analysis of some 10,000 students at nearly 100 schools, Riegle-Crumb found that the divide was anything but constant.
"What we find is that there are many schools where boys and girls take high school physics at the same rate," Riegle-Crumb said in an interview. "And that there are many other schools where more girls actually take physics than boys. And so when you look at the aggregate, you see a pattern where boys are taking physics more than girls, but there is a lot of variation around that."
There are some obvious things that could cause those variations. If parents of some kids are scientists, or highly educated, they might push their daughters to take tough courses in high school. Wealthy families might be able to afford tutoring, or have one parent stay home to help kids with homework. Better funded suburban schools might be at an advantage over inner-city schools.
But when Riegle-Crumb controlled for those and other possibilities, she found one reason remained: "What we found is that in communities that had a higher percentage of women in the labor force who are working in science, technology, engineering and math, that in those schools, girls were as likely as boys to take physics, or even more likely."
Riegle-Crumb's finding about the importance of local role models meshes with a broad range ofearlier work that shows the decision to pursue math and science is not about innate differences between boys and girls, but about social context and norms. Countries with greater gender equality, for example, reveal more equal math test scores among boys and girls.
Teenage girls growing up in communities where women are better represented in tech are more likely to see women commenting on tech issues in public forums and in school discussions — and more likely to run into a friend's astrophysicist mom at a birthday party.
By contrast, Riegle-Crumb said, girls growing up in communities where most working women are in jobs traditionally held by women such as child care or nursing might not see the possibilities that exist.
"If I am a young woman growing up in a community or culture like that, then that's what I see as, 'Well, this is what I am expected to do,' " Riegle-Crumb said. "And so it may not ever occur to me, that, 'Oh, you know, I don't actually have to do that. There's a vast array of things I could choose to do.' But if no one around me is doing those things, it's hard for me to even consider that possibility."

Pakistani women use jirga to fight for rights, Orla Guerin reports from Pakistan

BBC News Page
Accessed 12th August 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23453243

25 July 2013 Last updated at 16:39 

Pakistani women use jirga to fight for rights

Orla Guerin reports from Pakistan
Women in Pakistan's Swat valley are making history, and perhaps some powerful enemies, by convening an all-female jirga, a forum for resolving disputes usually reserved for men. Some readers may find details of this report by the BBC's Orla Guerin disturbing.
Tahira was denied justice in life, but she continues to plead for it in death - thanks to a grainy recording on a mobile phone.
As she lay dying last year the young Pakistan wife and mother made a statement for use in court.
In the shaky amateur video, she named her tormentors, and said they should burn like she did.
Tahira was married off at the age of 12 and died last year following a suspected acid attack
Tahira's flesh was singed on 35% of her body, following a suspected acid attack. Her speech was laboured and her voice was hoarse, but she was determined to give her account of the attack, even as her flesh was falling off her bones.
"I told her you must speak up and tell us what happened," her mother Jan Bano said, dabbed her tears with her white headscarf. "And she was talking until her last breath."
Tahira's husband, mother-in-law, and father-in-law were acquitted this month of attacking her with acid. Her mother plans to appeal against that verdict, with help from a new ally - Pakistan's first female jirga.

Maybe I could be killed... but I have to fight”
Tabassum AdnanSocial activist
Under the traditional - and controversial - jirga system, elders gather to settle disputes. Until now this parallel justice system has been men-only, and rulings have often discriminated against women. The new all-women jirga, which has about 25 members, aims to deliver its own brand of justice.
It has been established in an unlikely setting - the scenic but conservative Swat valley, formerly under the control of the Pakistan Taliban. We sat in on one of its sessions in a sparsely furnished front room. Women crowded in, sitting in a circle on the floor, many with children at their feet. Most wore headscarves, and a few were concealed in burqas.
Probing injustice
For more than an hour they discussed a land dispute, problems with the water supply, unpaid salaries, and murder. The only man in the room was a local lawyer, Suhail Sultan. He was giving legal advice to jirga members including Jan Bano who he represents.
"In your case the police is the bad guy," he told her. "They are the biggest enemy. " He claims the police were bribed by the accused, and were reluctant to investigate the case properly.
The jirga tackled land disputes, water supplies, and murder
The jirga is making history, and perhaps making enemies. In Swat, as in many parts of Pakistan, men make the key decisions - like whether or not their daughters go to school, when they marry, and who they marry. And oppression starts early. Tahira was married off at just 12 years old, to a middle-aged man.
"Our society is a male-dominated society, and our men treat our women like slaves," said the jirga founder, Tabassum Adnan. "They don't give them their rights and they consider them their property. Our society doesn't think we have the right to live our own lives."
This chatty social activist, and mother of four, knows that challenging culture and tradition comes with risks. "Maybe I could be killed," she said, "anything could happen. But I have to fight. I am not going to stop."
They glued [my daughter's] mouth and eyes closed. Just her face was left, the rest was flesh and broken bones” Taj Mehal
As we spoke in a sun-baked courtyard Tabassum got a disturbing phone call. "I have just been told that the body of another girl has been found, " she said. " Her husband shot her." She plans to investigate the case, and push the authorities to act.
"Before my jirga women have always been ignored by the police and by justice, but not now. My jirga has done a lot for women," she said.
There was agreement from Taj Mehal, a bereaved mother with a careworn face, sitting across the courtyard on a woven bed.
Her beloved daughter Nurina was tortured to death in May.
"They broke her arm in three places, and they strangled her," she told me, putting her hands to her own throat to mimic the action. "They broke her collarbone. They glued her mouth and eyes closed. Just her face was left, the rest was flesh and broken bones."
She speaks of her daughter's suffering with a steady voice, but grief is wrapped around her, like a heavy shawl.
"When I looked at her, it was like a piece was pulled out of my heart," she said. "I was turned to stone. I see her face in front of my eyes. I miss her laughter."
Nurina's husband, and his parents, have now been charged with her murder, but her mother says that initially the courts took no interest.
"Whenever we brought applications to the judge he would tear them up and throw them away," she said. "Now our voice is being heard, because of the jirga. Now we will get justice. Before the jirga husbands could do whatever they wanted to their wives."
Women are little seen or heard on the bustling streets of Mingora, the biggest city in Swat. Rickshaw taxis dart past small shops selling medicines, and hardware supplies.
There are stalls weighed down with mangoes, and vendors dropping dough into boiling oil to make sugar-laden treats. Most of the shoppers are men.
'No justice' at jirgas
When we asked some of the local men their views on the women's jirga, the results were surprising. Most backed the women.
"It's a very good thing," said one fruit seller, "women should know about their rights like men do, and they should be given their rights."
Another said: "The jirga is good because now finally women have someone to champion their cause."
The response from the local male jirga was less surprising. They were dismissive, saying the women have no power to enforce their decisions.
Most local men who spoke to the BBC expressed support for the women's initiative
That view was echoed by the prominent Pakistani human rights activist Tahira Abdullah. "I don't see it as more than a gimmick," she said. "Who is going to listen to these women? The men with the Kalashnikovs? The Taliban who are anti-women? The patriarchal culture that we have?"
Ms Abdullah wants jirgas stopped whether male or female. "The jirga system is totally illegal, and has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It can never be just. There are several extremely notorious cases where we have noticed that women do not get justice from jirgas, neither do non-Muslims."
One of those cases took place last year in a remote region of northern Pakistan where a jirga allegedly ordered the killing of five women - and two men - for defying local customs by singing and dancing together at a wedding.
And there are regular reports of jirgas decreeing that women and young girls be handed over from one family to another to settle disputes.
But for some, like Jan Bano, the women's jirga is bringing hope. Every day she climbs a steep hill to visit Tahira's grave, and pray for the daughter whose voice has still not her heard. Her video recording was not played in court.






India's 60 million women that never were - by Sunny Hundal

Accessed 12th August 2013

India's 60 million women that never were

Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 15:25

Sunny Hundal is the author of the recently released e-book, India Dishonoured: Behind a Nation's War on Women and is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the New Statesman.

It has been nearly seven months since a young student was gang-raped in the New Delhi, India, and died from her horrific injuries 13 days later on December 29, 2012. The fast-track trial of the accused men has just re-started and the sentence is due any day now.
When thousands of Indians took to the streets to protest the inability of the establishment to protect women, they demanded not just a change in the law but in people's attitudes. But the watershed moment that many Indians hoped for doesn't seem to have arrived. And that may be because most Indians don't even recognise the extent of the problem in their own country.
Let's start with a figure: 60 million. That is nearly the entire population of the United Kingdom. That is also the approximate number of women "missing" in India. They have either been aborted before birth, killed once born, died of neglect because they were girls, or perhaps murdered by their husband's family for not paying enough dowry at marriage.
That number isn't a wild exaggeration or a figure thoughtlessly plucked out of the air, but a matter of demographics. As far back as 1991, the economist Amartya Sen pointed out that Asia was missing 100 million womenbecause of sex-selection and the poor attention paid to women. In 2005, it was estimated at 50 million Indian women in the New York Times. But this isn't a new problem.
In 1991, the Indian census showed an unprecedented drop of women in the sex-ratio. After running tests to check whether women had been under-counted, they found that a massive explosion in sex-selection during the 80s had led to a sharp drop in the number of girls being born. A report by Action Aid in 2009 ("Disappearing Daughters" [PDF]) found that in some villages in the state of Punjab, there were as few as 300 girls for every 1,000 boys.
Overall, India had 37.25 million fewer women than men according to the 2011 Census. To match the sexes equally and then increase the number of women to match the natural sex-ratio would require around 60 to 70 million women. That is the number of women missing. This phenomenon cannot be called anything less than genocide.
So why isn't there more recognition of this mass tragedy? In my recently released e-book India Dishonoured: Behind a Nation's War on Women, I show that many Indians don't want to recognise the problem because it has become deeply ingrained in the culture.
This is illustrated with how the political establishment reacted to the gang-rape in New Delhi. Initially, many politicians simply dismissed the protests on the streets. Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the powerful Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), even said, "You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts." He went on to criticise "western lifestyle" in cities for sexual assaults.
Even the prime minister said nothing about the incident until a week later, despite the protests. Nevertheless an independently produced report commissioned by the government made excellent recommendations that were broadly adopted despite some exceptions. Marital rape, for example, is still legal there.
While changes in the law are welcome, they barely scratch the surface. India and China alone represent nearly four out of every ten of all people on earth. Due to endemic sex-selection in both countries, the imbalance of women and men there is unprecedented in human history.
In India, the overall sex-ratio for young children has fallen to 916 girls per 1,000 boys, and had consistently gotten worse over the last 60 years. In 2012, India was named the worst G20 country to be a woman in due to sex selection, infanticide and trafficking.
Worse, the liberalisation of social attitudes and rising incomes over the last 20 years has, paradoxically, made the matter worse in many ways. While some Indian women have never had so much freedom, these changes are being accompanied by a huge backlash in the form of higher rates of rapes and assaults, and an establishment that has preferred to blame "western values" instead.
But the problem in India goes to the heart of cultural practices that have been around for centuries. Culture doesn't just determine a country's laws and how well they are implemented, it also discourages or encourages violence against women. Practices such as paying dowry for brides, shunning divorced women, passing on inheritances only to men, not putting girls through schools - are all part of the problem. As families get richer, there is more pressure to pay out bigger dowries for girls and they have more money to afford an abortion.
According to one estimate, by 2020 India will have an extra 28 million men of marriageable age. The social impact of such an imbalance is unprecedented in history, and India barely has a police force and judicial system that can cope with the current problem.
Unless the country recognises the gravity of the problem and does more to protect half the population, the social impact will be felt in every aspect of Indian society for decades.
Sunny Hundal is the author of the recently released e-book, India Dishonoured: Behind a Nation's War on Women and is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the New Statesman.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.


How to spot a misogynist by Clementine Ford

Accessed 12th August 2013


How to spot a misogynist 

by Clementine Ford
Date May 1, 2012 - 8:42AM
*By the five classic lies they tell
When you’re a feminist, you get used to misogynists trying to challenge the necessity of your politics. “Feminism’s finished! Women are equal now and there’s no use for all the hairy arm-pitted rubbish! Quit your yapping! Embrace your curves!”
But misogynist isn’t a very fashionable kind of word – I mean, no one saunters into a room proudly pronouncing, ‘My name’s Don and I’m a misogynist!’, unless it’s the latest Charter Meeting of Online Trolls Monthly, or Channel Nine. So because people know it’s not really kosher to be a codified turd, they try and hide their misogynist views under the guise of legitimate arguments.
If you’re not trained in the spotting of smug, self-satisfied misogynists, you might not know the general thrust of their shtick. Luckily for you, I’ve become somewhat of an expert in the field since they all started following me on Twitter. So to help novices and outsiders, I’ve taken the following five popular misogynist arguments and parsed them into some kind of legible (if not logical) format for your benefit. 
1. If you want to see real oppression, go to the Middle East.
The problems here are threefold. First, it implies women in the west should be grateful for the benevolence of their natural overlords. Who cares if 1 in 3 of you will experience sexual assault in your lifetime, while also enjoying the privilege of lower pay than your male counterparts and the symbolic annihilation of yourselves in literature and film? In case you didn’t know, women in Afghanistan are being stoned to death. So why don’t you just go ahead and submit your complaint to the STFU file known as my PENIS?
Second is the accusatory tone. Now, I’m no statistician, but I’d estimate that 98.76% of people outraged over feminism’s ‘failure’ to ‘protect’ their brown sisters from the oppression of their Muslim Male Masters (because let’s not forget, this is about racism too) are doing exactly zero to agitate for women’s liberation anywhere, let alone in the Middle East. But even though they hate feminism and all who dwell therein, they still think they know how to do it better than you do. This is because misogynists see themselves as Upper Management – which is precisely why we need to get more women into executive roles.
Finally, liberation and change aren’t beholden to hierarchies of need. It’s possible to seek the liberation of oppressed groups everywhere, at the same time! Asking comparativelyprivileged women (many of whom also live in the Middle East – it is not a vacuum) to be satisfied with ‘good enough’ just reinforces the patriarchal hierarchy of power that needs to be dismantled.
Besides, I don’t hear anyone accusing working families of selfishness for complaining about their rising electricity bills just because some slum dwellers in India don’t even HAVE working Playstations.
2. How can women expect us to respect them when they won’t respect themselves?
When Sheik Al-Hilali compared scantily clad women to uncovered meat, we were rightly outraged. In Australia, we yelled, we don’t treat women like that! Except that we do. We use clothing and behaviour to provide excuses for sexist everyday, be they rapists or simply the kind of people who think a woman’s right to be afforded a basic level of dignity is contingent upon how much of her skin she’s revealing. The fact that we criticize other cultures for it doesn’t make us champions of women – it makes us both sexist AND racist. 
We’re not protecting women – we’re protecting our property. Asking women to respect themselves in order to ‘earn’ the right to be treated like a human being is total horseshit. But suggesting that you have the right to treat her exactly as you please because she didn’t adhere to your archaic views of feminine propriety is misogyny, plain and simple.
3. Stop criticizing domestic servitude! Some women are proud to look after their families.
This one’s a misogynist favourite, especially notable for the fact it’s the only time you’ll find them advocating for women’s rights in the workplace. Specifically, a woman’s right to iron her husband’s work shirts instead of her own. Misogynists who use this argument like to wax lyrical about things like choice, pride and sacrificial love. But what they’re really defending is their belief that women belong in the home, performing dull domestic tasks for the primary benefit of everyone other than themselves (and mainly their husband). Despite the fact that these dudes wouldn’t devote even an tenth of their lives to it themselves, they’re invested in outwardly maintaining the nobility of unpaid domestic work – because ascribing false honour to drudgery is how you reinforce invisible social power.
The thing is, women can choose those things if they want to. There’s nothing more tedious than the status quo trying to pit stay-at-homes against workforce broads. But the fact is, these people aren’t advocating for or defending a range of choices. How do I know that? Because if they were, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
4. It’s a science thing
“Look, men and women are built differently. It’s biological. Men are more visual, women are more emotional. That’s why more men are in executive roles. It’s about merit. If women were better, they wouldn’t be so crap. I didn’t make the rules.”
So goes the argument. Basically, it’s the kind of pop science spouted by the readers of such noted academic journals as NW Magazine and the Herald Sun. Whenever you hear someone say, ‘women are just better at washing up’ or ‘men are just better at being the leader of the free world’, ask yourself this: would that sentence be as benign if we replaced gender with race? Would we stand by, nodding sagely as mainstream pundits discussed how white people are just better at empathy than black folk? I sure hope not.
So why is it okay to say that women aren’t as good at stuff ‘because biology’? The biology argument is a Trojan horse that does nothing but sneak sexist propaganda into the castle. The only biological difference between a man and a woman is the difference of a Y chromosome – and even then, there’s a bit of wiggle room.
5. Men are oppressed too, therefore women aren’t! Or something.
‘If feminists really cared about equality, they’d be addressing all the inequality that faces men. Like, why do feminists only care about breast cancer and not prostate cancer? Why aren’t feminists advocating for single dads? Why won’t women sleep with me when I’m a really nice guy and I’ve made a particular effort to be nice to them, particularly? Until feminism can answer that, I’m afraid I don’t really see it as being legitimate.”
This is the last bastion of the misogynist’s argument – their self fancying checkmate, if you will. What these people are basically saying is that, despite the overwhelming evidence of entrenched sexual, physical and ideological oppression of women, the only way feminism can really be fair is if it first identifies and solves all of the ways in which the patriarchy also oppresses men.
To be more specific, women who agitate for their own liberation are only allowed to do so once they’ve fixed all the things that make men sad, thus making them stronger and even more powerful.
There are probably a million ways I could tear this argument apart, but I think this says it better than I ever could.
To paraphrase the great Sarah Connor, a bitchin’ kick ass broad who saved humanity from blistering annihilation at the hands of the Terminators: if a stick figure, an animation, can reject the stupidity of misogynist rhetoric…maybe we can too.
Go forth and rebut, my friends.

Our men throw acid in our faces, destroy our lives but we never stop loving men. by Taslima Nasreen

NOTE: the pictures on this article are very graphic and have been removed for this post, however I would advice all readers to go to the original source and look at them. 


Our men throw acid in our faces, destroy ourlives but we never stop loving men. 

Men throw acid on us with the intention of injuring or disfiguring us. Men throw acid on our bodies, burn our faces, smash our noses, melt our eyes, and walk away as happy men.
Acid attack is common in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia, and a few other countries. Men throw acid on us because men are angry with us for ending relationships and for refusing sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, proposals of marriage, demands for dowry. They throw acid on us for attending schools, for not wearing Islamic veils, for not behaving well, for speaking too much, for laughing loudly.
Cambodia
“What remains is a traumatized society in which domestic disputes, unhappy love affairs, and professional rivalries are nearly always resolved through violence. Hardly a family without its members lost to the ideological battles of the Khmer Rouge – a curse that is passed on from parents to children. Battery acid is known to be most uncomplicated way of causing lifelong suffering. A dollar will buy you a quart of acid on any street corner. The perpetrators are seldom punished. Their targets become outcasts.”  
Pakistan
Ten years ago Shahnaz Bibi was burned with acid by a relative due to a familial dispute. She has never undergone plastic surgery. Najaf Sultana is now 16. At the age of five Najaf was burned by her father while she was sleeping. Her father didn’t want to have another girl in the family. Najaf became blind. Shameem Akhter (20) was kidnapped and raped by a gang of men who then threw acid on her 3 years ago. Kanwal Kayum, now 26, was burned with acid one year ago by a man whom she rejected for marriage. Bashiran Bibi was burned at her husband’s house just after her marriage. Nasreen Sharif was a beautiful girl. When she was 14, her cousin poured a bottle of sulphuric acid in her face. He did it because he couldn’t stand boys whistling at her when she crossed the street. Her skin melted away, her hair burned away. She is now blind, she has no ears and she has no sense of smell.
It is very easy for a man to get sulphuric acid if he wants to attack a woman he does not like. The country has become a hot spot for acid attacks. A disfigured woman is not able to get married or get a job. She becomes a financial and social burden on her family.
Akriti Rai, 22, was attacked by her husband, a Nepali soldier.
A man threw acid on a 13-year-old girl’s face to take a revenge. The older sister of the girl said: “You have to grow crocodile skin to clean the wounds of an acid survivor. The worst ordeal was while in the hospital, as the skin kept peeling off. I didn’t realize that the tongue skin was also peeling off. The young girl was pushing something in her mouth. I opened her mouth to see and found that almost the whole tongue had come off. I had to pull it out like you do with a cow and only a little red thing (tongue) remained.’
Twenty-one-year-old woman Kamilat Mehdi’s life was changed forever when a stalker threw sulphuric acid in her face. Ismail, Kamilat’s brother said: “The man who attacked her stalked her for a few years. He gave her a hard time but she didn’t tell the family for fear that something would happen to them. He was always saying he would use a gun on them.” Ultimately the stalker’s weapon of choice was not a gun, but a bottle of acid. He used it on Kamilat and destroyed her entire life in one second.
We are more abused, harassed, exploited, kidnapped, raped, trafficked, murdered by our lovers, husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, or men we know well than by strangers. Whatever happens to us, we never stop loving men.
India
She was 18, a college student. Three of her neighbors sexually harassed her for more than two years and then threw acid on her. Her skin on the skull, face, neck, chest and back were melted away. After nine years of that attack Sonali Mukherjee is now blind in both eyes and partially deaf. Her father spent millions of rupees for her treatment. They have now no money. The attackers got bail from the High Court, continued threatening to kill her. She is now asking the government to help her or allow her to end her life.

The face of Sokreun Mean, who was blinded and disfigured by an acid attack.
Carsten Stormer, a German journalist & photographer said,
“Acid attacks deprive people of more than their looks and sight. Families are torn apart. Husbands leave their wives. Children are separated from their parents. Jobs vanish overnight, turning professionals into beggars. Many victims cannot get through a day without constant assistance, becoming burdens on their families. All bear the mark of the pariah.

Fakhra Younus was attacked by her husband Bilal Khar, ex-MPA of the Punjab Assembly and the son of Pakistani Politician Ghulam Mustafa Khar. He threw acid in her face after they split up. Tehmina Durrani, the author of ‘My Feudal Lord’, the former step mother of Bilal Khar tried to help Fakhra. She was sent to Italy for treatment. After having 39 re-constructive surgeries, Fakhra committed suicide.

The stories of the girls, from left to right:

Among others, there is Shaziya Abdulsattar, an eight-year-old girl. Shaziya’s father threw acid on her and her mother Azim last year after the mother refused to sell their two boys to a man in Dubai to use as camel racers.
  
Bangladesh

Neela was forced to marry when she was 12 years old. Her husband threw acid on her face when she was 14. He was angry with Neela because her family was unable to give him the dowry money he asked for.

Nepal

Iran

Ameneh Bahrami rejected the offer of having a relationship with Majid Movahedi, a fellow student at the University of Tehran. He then threw a bottle of acid in her face.
Zambia

Nitric acid, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid are today’s weapons of choice for criminals who hate women. These acids are easy to buy, easy to hide, easy to carry, and easy to throw. A person who witnessed many acid attacks , said, ‘in a less than a minute the bone under the skin can start to be exposed. If there is enough acid, the bone itself can become a soft mass of non-distinguishable jelly. Internal organs can dissolve. Fingers, noses and ears can melt away like chocolate on a hot day.’
Ethiopia

UK

Her lover did it. Richard Remes threw sulphuric acid on Patricia Lefranc. Her nose and eyelids were melted away, she lost sight in one eye and hearing in one ear, she also lost a finger. She came close to death, as the corrosive substance nearly burned through her heart and lungs.The horrific attack physically and emotionally scarred her for life. What was her crime? She ended her relationship with Richard Remes, a married man.




How many acid attacks are there? By Tom de Castella BBC News Magazine - 9 August 2013

BBC website accessed 12th August 2013

How many acidattacks are there?

9 August 2013 Last updated at 13:22
BBC News Magazine



Katie Piper was attacked with acid in 2008 by a jealous boyfriend
The acid attack on two young British women in Zanzibar has cast a spotlight again on a sinister crime. How often do such assaults happen?
Anyone who throws acid in someone's face intends to scar them for life.
It is a crime with a marked gender skew. Experts say that women and girls are victims in 75-80% of cases. Of the female victims, about 30% are under 18.
The case of Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee, British tourists in Zanzibar, who had acid thrown on their faces, chests and hands, has caused revulsion.
The artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet was attacked in January. Now after 18 operations he is still almost completely blind, according to reports.
Another high profile case was that of Katie Piper, who in 2008 was the victim of an acid attack orchestrated by her jealous boyfriend. Since then she has had nearly 100 operations and become a campaigner.
NHS statistics for England do not separate out acid attacks. In 2011-12 there were 105 hospital admissions in England for "assault by corrosive substance", but the category covers more than just acid.
But 1,500 cases are recorded around the world every year, according to the Acid Survivors Trust International. "That is likely to be massively underreported," says Jaf Shah, ASTI executive director. "Most victims are fearful to report it to the police for fear of reprisal."
The lack of solid reported figures makes it hard to say whether acid attacks are on the rise globally, Shah says.
India has an increasing problem with acid attacks. ASTI estimates that 1,000 take place there every year. Eight weeks ago the country's supreme court criticised the Indian government for failing to act on the problem.
Mohammad Jawad, a plastic surgeon who helped rebuild Katie Piper's face and works with victims in South Asia, says the crime is about trying to destroy someone's identity.
"The attacker is saying: 'I don't want to kill her, I am going to do something to distort her.' It's a walking dead situation for the victim and often a grey area in the eyes of the law."
It is not about religion or culture, he argues. "It takes place in parts of the world where women are not empowered. It's an extreme form of domestic violence."
Jawad says it is vital to treat acid burns fast.
"The first few hours are pretty important." In thermal burns the damage is done once the burn is inflicted. But with acid, the burning continues on the skin until the acid is neutralised.
Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup reportedly ran into the sea to wash the acid off their skin before it could do any permanent damage. Although there are bacteria in the sea, on balance this was a good decision, says Jawad.
Saltwater in the form of hypertonic saline (very salty saline) is used to neutralise the acid. Cleaning agents can suck the acid out of the tissue by a process of reverse osmosis, Jawad says.
Acid attacks appear to be disproportionately common in South Asia. As well as India, Shah suspects there are "very high" numbers in Afghanistan but there are no official figures. Bangladesh and Pakistan also have considerable numbers.
Shah says that unlike India, where there is no dedicated measuring of acid attacks, Pakistan and Bangladesh have made it a specific offence. The most common motives are rejected marriage proposals and sexual advances.
In Bangladesh, reported attacks have fallen since the government tightened up the rules on the sale of acid and introduced the death penalty for attackers. There were 492 attacks in 2002. Last year it was under 75, Shah says.
Pakistan has also tightened up its laws. There are 250-300 recorded attacks there a year. Legislation in December 2011 has increased reporting by 300%, Shah says.
The prevalence of attacks in South Asia can be explained by the easy availability of acid, suggests Shah. Acid is widely used in the cotton, rubber and jewellery industries. Hence attacks are also seen in rubber-producing areas like Cambodia.
Acid can be sold for as little as a dollar or 50 cents a litre, says Jawad.
In the developing world acid attacks cause greater damage. Water might be hard to come by for someone seeking to wash away the acid. Burns units are few and far between. Shah recalls how in Nepal a woman had to walk "in absolute agony" for 24 hours before she could receive treatment.
The problem is not just South Asia. There have been notable attacks in Iran. There were 150 recorded attacks in Colombia last year. And recent reports suggest that attacks are on the rise in Italy.
Even where laws are tightened, convictions can be hard in male-dominated societies. In Pakistan, a woman died after an acid attackand left a mobile phone video message denouncing her attackers. But the suspects - her husband, mother-in law and father-in law - were acquitted.
It can take years for victims to recover, says Shah. They may need dozens of surgical procedures. Then there is the psychological trauma. "If victims have been ostracised from the family structure their exclusion is very severe."

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Qisas: An eye for an eye?
  •    Ameneh Bahrami, 24, was attacked with acid in 2004 by a university classmate
  • She had repeatedly spurned his offers of marriBlinded in both eyes, and after treatment in Spain she returned to Iran to bring him to justice in 2007
  • Took up a case under the Islamic Sharia code of qisas (retribution)
  • Won case in 2008, with attacker sentenced to blinding by acid
  • After numerous delays and widespread international coverage, she pardoned him in 2011