Acid Attacks On Women In Pakistan

My lovely sis-in-law really surprised me today — very pleasantly surprised, I must say — when she called me to read/edit something that she wrote. Not only is it well-written but it addresses some extremely important issues, especially pertaining to violence against women in Pakistan; in the form of acid attacks. Anyway, I couldn’t resist sharing it on my blog. So, please read it carefully, and reflect.

***

Pakistan is considered to be the world’s third most dangerous country for women, and Afghanistan is on top of the list.

I can’t even say that it surprises me because in Pakistani society women are treated with so much disrespect that it goes beyond any human cruelty.

The abuse against women is not only in the form of physical abuse but emotional as well.  Most of the time we write about how women are treated in Afghanistan, but now I would like for us to shift our focus and look at the mistreatment of women in Pakistan, as well.

The abuse that these women are suffering from come in different forms but it is something that we have to address, especially the physical and emotional abuse that some Pakistani women face after marriage; this could be in the form of abuse from their husbands, in-laws, or both.

While we all teared up and rejoiced at Sharmeen’s achievement as a Pakistani winning the Oscar, yet none of us took any initiative to discuss the issue of Acid attack in Pakistan, prior to the Oscar win.

Our prime minister is ready to present the Civil Award, but has he ever visited these abused women who have suffered at the hands of their abusive in-laws and husbands?

Has anyone taken any step, as a fellow citizen, or just as a human being, to help these victims and bring the culprits to justice or highlight such dark issues of Pakistani society?

A short clip from Sharmeen’s film talks about 25-year-old Rukhsana, whose husband threw acid on both her and her sister-in-law. He then doused her in gasoline before her mother-in-law lit a match and set her on fire.

Is human life worth nothing in a country that is considered to be a Muslim state?

I wonder if these are the teachings of the Quran that Pakistanis are following.

Pakistanis are the first to condemn the West for portraying a bad image of Islam, and then I wonder what these violent attacks on women in Pakistan portray Pakistanis as?

My question here is: The one, who doused an innocent woman with gasoline, was she not a woman herself? Did she ever stop to think what she is doing today can happen to her as well, tomorrow? What if her daughter ends up with the same fate?

I religiously call my mother every morning before I head out to work to make sure she is okay, we share a very special bond and mostly talk about different issues. One day when I called her for our regular mother-daughter chat, she was very upset; and upon my asking, she told me a similar story about a husband who had thrown acid on a girl after he brought her back from her parents’ house.

It makes you think; is it a mistake to be born in Pakistan as a woman? Is Pakistan still not out of the dark ages of gender superiority? When will all this end?

Just because you are married off (a norm of our society), it does not mean that you become a property of your in-laws and your husband, nor do they have the right to mistreat and abuse you. Do they think that women have no heart to feel pain? Is her life worth only what she brings in a dowry?

There are so many unanswered questions, and who knows when they will be answered, or whether they’ll ever be answered.

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13 responses to “Acid Attacks On Women In Pakistan

  1. Aww, thank you so much, Gregory! I really appreciate your kind words! Well, I TRY to come up with as many interesting topics to write on as I possibly can. Of course, you’re too kind, for not everything I write is “terrific.” :: blushes :: But I really appreciate your comments and for your visiting my blog! I’d love to read some of your thoughts on my posts; as you know, there is nothing I love more than an intellectually stimulating discussion! 🙂 Take care.

  2. Acid attacks, confinement, beatings! Bullying of the rankest kind from small minds.

    How can men and women act this way? Is it a feeling of power? The power of life, possesion and death, where is love in all of this? It makes me shudder and feel horrified.

    Where is the morality of the Community?

    This kind of behaviour towards women is not just perpetrated in the East, similar things happen in the West.

    I don’t think it is to do with Religeon more the basest human tradition and thought processes of some.

    Where is the Law here, if people cannot live within the bounds of a decent Society and harm others, they should pay the penalty through due process.

    What goes through the minds of people deciding to do this, how do they raise their hatred and anger, is it because many turn a blind eye to matrimonial disputes, the man must be right.

    What would happen if a woman did this to a man?

    My total empathy and my heart goes out to people damaged in this way.

    Is Education the way forward?

    • You cover some very important issues, and I share the exact same frustrations as you. I believe education is important. But like you said, it happens in the West too, and men there, on average, are much more educated and aware than most men living in the East. So, then, it makes me wonder whether education per se is the sole solution to all these problems towards women’s oppression/subordination. Or whether there is more to it than just education. Also, we need to understand WHAT kind of education too — there is a huge difference between being ‘book-smart’ and ‘worldly/humanely-smart’. So, there’s lots of things to factors to consider when looking at education, especially in the development context.

      • Cultural development and understanding is perhaps the key. Sometimes people do not perceive cruelty if it is the norm, if life is hard and seen as cheap. Some, if the only weapons in the world were flowers would seek bigger flowers to beat and dominate their perceived opponents, without noticing the petals.

        So where does this perception come from? I think that all humans are all debased and crude unless they are shown love, respect and understanding. Not through religion, although this can help. Through mentors who guide and reinforce their message. Opening minds to higher ideals.

        I don’t think that concentrating on the male is the right focus, yes the male is the usual perpetrator but women and family allow.

        Institutions at all levels need to be challenged politically and personally to bring about awareness and a demand for change through clamour may succeed.

        Legal means may cause great change, a petition to the highest court in the land in regard to the Constitution if the safety of all people in the Country is enshrined there.

        Press, yes unless it is gagged.

        An old proverb ‘It is not the monkey at the top of the tree that brings it down but the many slow and deliberate scratchings by the small creatures attacking its roots.’

  3. I had to write this

    Throw some acid
    Dear, show your love.
    For my opinion
    My mind.
    My scorn for you
    Blind me.
    Scar me for life
    Scar your mind.

    Pour it over
    My beautiful face.
    Let it burn
    Because of my voice.
    Who encouraged you
    Your friend, mother.
    Tradition of control
    Hearts of hatred.

    Hold your head high
    I can’t mine.
    Puckered skin
    Disfigurement.
    Made my face
    Like your mind.
    Behind my veil
    I see you.

    At night, when it rains
    I lift my veil.
    Water mixes with
    My tears.
    Salves my mind
    No, not flesh.
    Soothing
    Wrecked.

    You want me
    In fear.
    A chattel, worse
    Than a dog.
    I do not fear
    I now know.
    You are a coward
    I have the power.

    I see you for
    What you are.
    Incapable of love
    Except for self.
    If I had my way
    I would make.
    You look at my
    Face every day.

    Until your madness
    Is replaced.
    By torment
    You think I cannot.
    Now love
    I can, I just need.
    To find a man
    With a good mind.

    • Wow…simply wow. I’m utterly speechless…
      You really have a beautiful way with words, Les. I’m so impressed with your poetry-writing abilities. You’re indeed gifted.
      Do you mind if I shared this poem, as a stand-alone post on my blog? It’s brilliant! I’ll of course give credit to you, but let me know which name I should use and whether you’d be okay if I shared it. I read this poem twice and each time it sounds better and better. LOVE it!
      Thank you so much for sharing your poetic gems! 🙂 Perhaps it’s time you started your own poetry blog!;)

  4. Yes you may share my Poem. My name is Les Smith. As you know when you write something the question is will anyone like it. I am really pleased that you do. I am thinking about the blog but I have an embrionic web site and other issues to work on at the minute but my ambition is to open one. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

    • You’re very welcome, Les! Yeah, I often ask myself the same question, and sometimes I write something thinking it’s “good,” and then when I revisit it, or re-read it a couple years later, I realize it wasn’t as good as I thought it was. But that’s how it is, I suppose. We all grow and mature, even in our writings. I’m in my mid-late 20s now, and what I wrote 10-15 years ago is completely different from what I write now. I used to be a horror junkie back then, and now I can’t even bring myself to write about anything remotely “horror.” I guess our priorities become different. Now, most of my themes, whether poetry or prose, centre on Pashtun/Afghan women, humanitarian work, orphans, gender issues, etc. I doubt this was something I’d ever have been remotely interested in back then, haha.

      Recently, I did re-visit some of my old writings and I admit, it was a pleasure to read, ’cause I know for a fact that I could never write like that again. 🙂

      Please let me know as soon as you do decide to get that blog. I’ll be eagerly waiting! 🙂 And thanks for letting me share your poem. I’ll do that now. 🙂

  5. I think what you typed made a great deal of sense. However, what about this? suppose you were to create a awesome headline? I ain’t suggesting your content is not good, however suppose you added something that grabbed folk’s attention? I mean Acid Attacks On Women In Pakistan SesapZai – Artist. Academic. Philanthropist. is a little plain. You could glance at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create news headlines to grab viewers interested. You might add a related video or a related picture or two to get readers excited about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it could make your website a little bit more interesting.

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