Monday, 6 July 2009

Acid Test

According to a news report that tweaked our radar on such matters, violence against women in Pakistan has increased this year.

More than 220 women were burned in the period from April to June this year, resulting in the death of 40 women in Punjab, according to a report issued by the AGHS Legal Cell. The report is based on data collected from four hospitals. ...

"Violence against women in Pakistan is endemic," Nisha Varia, deputy director of women's rights division at Human Rights Watch told The Media Line. "Although there are never reliable numbers about violent incidents, we know that in every study carried out, there are very high rates of domestic violence and incidents like acid attacks." The numbers documented by AGHS mark a staggering increase in such attacks, given that 68 women reported to have sustained burns in the first quarter of the year. ...

Hundreds of cases of burn attacks on women are reported in Pakistan every year. Many cases are not reported to the police so the actual numbers are estimated to be much higher than those documented by various organizations.
Acid attacks, where acid is thrown onto the face and other parts of the body causing severe pain, bodily harm and mutilation, is common practice is other South Asian countries such as Bangladesh and India.

These outbreaks of violence against women are but one form of the gynophobia that also manifests itself in the callous indifference many governments have towards maternal reproductive health. Antonia Zerbisias blogs about the "Every Mother Matters" campaign currently targeting G8 leaders because of the upcoming meeting in Europe.

... an incredible ad today in The Globe and Mail, which I cannot find online anywhere. Too bad. It's a montage of photos of G8 leaders as children with their mothers. At the bottom, the text says:

Your mother taught you how to write your name, now she'd expect you to sign it.

Every single minute a mother dies in pregnancy or childbirth. 80% of those deaths are preventable.

At this week's G8 Summit in Italy, you are the 8 people who can prevent them -- it's as simple as that. Reduce maternal mortality and make every mother proud of you.

Mothers everywhere are watching and hoping.

Go read her.

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