According to a February 16 article published in The Economist, increasing numbers of men in Bangladesh are burning their wives and other women with acid.
Sixteen young women were treated for severe acid burns within a period of just a few days early this year, and the Dhaka Medical College Hospital has seen the average number of victims increase from two to three per week. Some believe the annual number of attacks may be in the hundreds, given that rural attacks are likely to go unreported.
Officials believe that the increase in attacks is due to a male backlash against women who are becoming increasingly confident and independent. Many women have been provided with loans to launch small businesses and have gained financial power and increased social standing in their communities.
21-year-old Asma Begum's story is a typical one. Begum returned home late from work one night and her husband became irate because his dinner was not prepared. He obtained some sulphuric acid and threw it on her later, while she was sleeping, injuring her and four other women who shared her bed. Begum's face, chest, and arm were burned.
Chemical burns horribly disfigure victims and often blind them. Most women in Bangladesh can not obtain any plastic or reconstructive surgery.
Government officials in Bangladesh and the U.S. must take steps to restrict the sale of the destructive acids used in these attacks. Sulphuric and other harmful acids are currently very easy to obtain from tanneries, jewelers, and car-battery sellers and others.
Media Resources: The Economist - February 16, 1998
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .