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...
  • Wall Street hammered, Dow closes down more than 300 points
    Wall Street hammered, Dow closes down more than 300 points

    Stocks got hammered on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling as much as 300 points before recovering slightly near the closing bell.

  • Homeowner who fought off Trump is moving on
    Homeowner who fought off Trump is moving on

    She once called Donald Trump "a maggot, a cockroach and a crumb." This week, he remembered her as "an impossible person."

  • Ebola-infected doctor's extraordinary sacrifice
    Ebola-infected doctor's extraordinary sacrifice

    Even from his own sickbed, Dr. Kent Brantly continues to put the well-being of others before his own.

  • Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'
    Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pointing the finger at Republicans for congressional inaction, President Barack Obama chided lawmakers Wednesday for spending the waning days before their month-long summer break trying to sue him rather than addressing economic issues that could boost the middle class.

  • Say 'cheese' (and a few four-letter words): Sky divers leap from 33,000 feet

    Two French sky divers leapt from a plane, about 33,000 feet in the air, and captured this breathtaking photo.

  • France mulls ban on radical Jewish group
    France mulls ban on radical Jewish group

    France is considering disbanding a radical Jewish group whose members clashed with pro-Palestinian activists during rallies over Israel's offensive in Gaza, a source close to the case told AFP on Thursday. News of the mooted ban on the Jewish Defence League (LDJ) came just ahead of an evening pro-Israel demonstration outside the Jewish state's embassy, located near the French prime minister's office. Police said around 4,500 people joined the rally called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF). They were held in response to weeks of pro-Palestinian protests that have been marred by clashes, arrests and allegations of anti-Semitism in which synagogues were targeted and Israeli flags burnt.

  • Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap
    Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Republican candidate for California governor said Thursday he spent a week living as a homeless person in Fresno to highlight the disparity between the governor's claim that the state is making an economic comeback and the reality faced by the working poor in the nation's most populous state.

  • 2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge
    2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A video camera captured the terrifying plight of two women as a freight train bore down on them as they walked along an 80-foot-high railroad bridge in Indiana.

Loading...