Around the World

“Saving Face”: Horrific Acid Attacks Target Women in Pakistan

Every year in Pakistan around 150 women are victims of acid attacks, horrific incidents where liquid acid is thrown on their face, leaving them permanently scared and disfigured.

Many are left without access to proper medical care, while those that do have access often require up to 20 surgeries to properly treat the damage.

In truth, the number of victims is likely much higher than those reported as many are attacks are typically carried out by someone close to them, such as a disgruntled husband or suitor looking for revenge.

According to filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who just won the Academy Award for the short form documentary "Saving Face", "If a man wants to take on a second wife but his first wife doesn't want him to, he says, right I'll just throw acid on her face and get rid of her, so she'll spend the rest of her life in and out of hospitals."

It's been difficult for advocates of women's rights in Pakistan to combat the attacks since many go unreported, while attackers that are caught, are often let go with minimal punishment from the state.

Films like "Saving Face" and a new Pakistani law that hands down a minimum mandatory prison terms of 14 years to life for acid attacks are potentially promising turning points.

On Around the World, Christiane Amanpour speaks with Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy about her film, which can be seen on HBO, Thursday March 8th.

Loading...
  • TYKE BECOMES A TERROR WHEN MOM TAKES BACK HER CELLPHONE

    DEAR ABBY: When my friend "Fran" and I get together with our kids, they often play games on her cellphone until the battery dies. If she tries to take the phone from her 6-year-old to make a call or recharge the phone, he starts yelling at her, pushes her, pulls her skirt and hits her. Her reaction is to hug him and start praying for the devil to get out of his body in Jesus' name as he continues to hit her. While I respect Fran's religion, I'm appalled at his violent behavior, concerned that he will grow up thinking it's OK to hit people, and I think this should be handled differently. ...

  • Surgeons remove 232 teeth from Indian teenager
    Surgeons remove 232 teeth from Indian teenager

    Ashik Gavai, 17, sought medical help for a swelling on the right side of his lower jaw and the case was referred to the city's JJ Hospital, where they found he was suffering from a condition known as complex odontoma, head of dentistry Sunanda Dhivare-Palwankar told AFP. The youngster's father, Suresh Gavai, said that the family had been worried that Ashik's swelling was a cancerous growth. "I was worried that it may turn out to be cancer so I brought him to Mumbai," Gavai told the Mumbai Mirror newspaper. "I think it could be a world record," she said.

  • Russia firing artillery on Ukraine troops: US
    Russia firing artillery on Ukraine troops: US

    The United States on Thursday said it had evidence Russian forces were firing artillery from inside Russia on Ukrainian troops, in what officials called a "clear escalation" of the conflict. Moscow is also planning to "deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers" to the pro-Russian separatist forces in Ukraine, US deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. The evidence was based on "intelligence information" indicating arms were "continuing to flow across the border" into Ukraine since the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner with 298 on board, Harf said. "They're firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military," Harf told reporters.

  • Hamas tunnel threat at center of war with Israel
    Hamas tunnel threat at center of war with Israel

    JERUSALEM (AP) — A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel — dubbed "lower Gaza" by the Israeli military — is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel.

  • Pity the poor Russian billionaire; Putin’s costing them billions
    Pity the poor Russian billionaire; Putin’s costing them billions

    How are Russian oligarchs affected by U.S. sanctions? Bloomberg's Rob LaFranco explains in the video above.

  • Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters
    Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — For the developers of the world's sixth tallest building near Seoul, a mysteriously shrinking lake and the appearance of small sinkholes in residential neighborhoods couldn't have come at a more inopportune time.

  • U.S. Jewish group wants its award back from Turkey's Erdogan

    An association of Jewish Americans said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has become the world's "most virulent anti-Israeli leader" and demanded he return an award it gave him a decade ago, partly for his efforts to broker peace between Israel and Palestinians. The New York-based American Jewish Congress awarded Erdogan its "Profile of Courage" award in 2004 for what it said was his stance on fighting terrorism and working towards a peace. "Now, we want it back," the association's president, Jack Rosen, said in an open letter to Erdogan dated July 23 and made public on Thursday. He cited the Turkish leader's comments last weekend that Israel had "surpassed Hitler in barbarism" through its attacks on Gaza.

  • Italy's cruise ship wreck begins final voyage
    Italy's cruise ship wreck begins final voyage

    Italy's once-luxurious Costa Concordia cruise liner embarked on its last voyage on Wednesday, as tug boats began towing it from island wreck site to scrapyard grave in one of the biggest salvage operations in maritime history. "It's hard not to get emotional," said Franco Porcellacchia, an engineer with ship owner Costa Crociere. "Today, Giglio is once again ours," a local man, visibly relieved to see the back of the Concordia, told AFP. The rusting liner, roughly twice the size of the Titanic and now hoisted afloat by massive air chambers, will be tugged to the port of Genoa in northwest Italy, where it will be dismantled and scrapped.

Loading...