Pakistan Acid Attacks

March 1, 2012 by staff 

Pakistan Acid Attacks, The joy with which Pakistan’s first Academy Award was received this week quickly made way for debate on the subject of the film: acid attacks that leave hundreds badly disfigured every year.

Saving Face captures the stories of two women who survived attacks in which acid was thrown in their faces, and the cosmetic surgeon who has returned to Pakistan to help them.

The 52-minute documentary co-directed by Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge from the United States won the Oscar for best short documentary.

There were celebrations all around in Pakistan following the announcement from the glitzy awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani promised a “high civil award” for Obaid-Chinoy.

But a day later, as activists and the media took advantage of the Hollywood triumph to cast the spotlight on one of the worst aspects of Pakistani society, the euphoria had subsided.

At least 3,017 acid attacks were reported between 1999 and 2011, according to data compiled by the non-profit Acid Survivors Foundation. In 2002 alone, 496 cases were reported.

Most of the victims are women, who in majority of cases suffer at hands of male perpetrators. The acid leaves them disfigured for life due to lack of medical facilities and social security.

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