European Academic Research ISSN 2286-4822
ISSN-L 2286-4822
Impact Factor: 3.4546 (UIF)
DRJI Value : 5.9 (B+)
Article Details :
Article Name :
Acid Attack: a look at Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh
Author Name :
Mohammad Qasim
Publisher :
Bridge Center
Article URL :
Abstract :
Violence against women is a worldwide problem. Women more or less are subject to gender based discrimination throughout the world. At a global UN conference, December 9, 2015 one of the speaker stated: “Today there is no country in the world, not one, where women and girls live free from violence. Protecting women’s rights to live in dignity, free from violence, requires our deliberate, urgent and sustained action.” However, the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women describes: violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relation between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women. Violence can be more easily carried out against women because of their lower social, economic and legal status. Among other gender based violence, however, acid attack is one of the most horrendous crime with devastating and lifelong consequences. Acid violence involves intentional violence in which perpetrators throw, spry or pour acid onto victim’s faces and bodies, it is a gender based violence that reflects inequality of women in society and as such prohibited by international law. Although the vast majority of victims of acid violence are girls and women, reports reveal that men are subjected to abuse as well. Nevertheless the vast majority of victims are women and that the majority of perpetrators are men. The reason behind acid violence can be different and ranges from marriage, love and sex proposal rejection to opposing traditional order, dowry related issues and property disputes. Discriminatory attitude towards women often result to violence against them and reflects the attitude that women are possessions, acid attackers often say if they cannot possess her then no one else can, these attackers view women as their property. Another discriminatory attitude motivating acid violence is that women are viewed as dishonoring men by not obeying their wishes, when a woman refuses a man’s proposal it is seen as destroying his reputation and prestige and he restores it by burning her face with acid to show his masculinity and superiority. The consequences after a victim faces acid attack are endless, however, they used to suffer every day of their lives. Physical consequence include blindness, permanent disfigurement and destroying other parts of the body where acid is poured. Psychological consequence can ever be more pathetic and painful, victim is suffering psychological trauma when she feels her skin is burnt off, and after the attack the disfigurement and disabilities with which they have to bear for the rest of their lives. Moreover, victims are suffering tremendously economic consequences, after the attack they need to undergo complicated surgeries several times. Overall, acid violence victims are suffering every day of their lives not for their wrongs, but due to the fault of some ferocious animals roaming around freely in the society. It can be said that acid attack victims go through hell in this ordeal and their life becomes worse than death. Although acid attack occurs in many countries, however, studies reveal that it is more prevalent in south Asia. Afghanistan had a relatively progressive attitude towards women and gender equality before the Soviet invasion and the subsequent emergence of Taliban. Afghan women were first given vote in 1919 only one year after the women in Britain and the country’s first constitution in 1923 guaranteed equal rights for both men and women. When the Taliban came to power in 1996, they enforced their own strict Sharia-Law, excluded women from large parts of everyday life and imprisoned them into their homes. After the US-led war in 2001, a number of steps towards gender equality were taken in Afghanistan. Women rights and gender equality were enshrined in the new constitution in 2004 and in 2009 Afghanistan adopted the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law. However, enforcement of law guarding women rights were too weak and violence against women persist in the country. In 2011, Afghanistan was named one of the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman. Amnesty international reports 3,700 cases of violence against women including acid attack in the first eight months of 2016. Moreover, many cases go unreported. In short, harassment and violence are realities of everyday lives of afghan women. Hundreds of thousands of girls and women are victims of various forms of violence including acid attack in Afghanistan. Afghan girls and women who defy traditional gender roles and speak out for their rights and freedom are routinely subject to threats and violence from extremist groups like Taliban and others who share the same ideas about women and are expected to support legislation that will once again limit women’s freedom. There is no official figure for acid violence cases in Afghanistan. The lack of legislation specifically dealing with acid violence contribute in many cases to go unreported.
Keywords :
acid attack, Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh

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