The women around the world live with the threat of acid attacks daily, including Bangladesh, Colombia, Nepal, Uganda and more recently the UK.
In Bangladesh, where ActionAid works, there have been thousands of acid attacks over the last few years. These include young girls trying to escape forced marriage. In most cases people purposely aim for the face destroying the eyelids so the eyes remain open as a woman’s face is seen as sacred. Her disfigurement then becomes a public mark of shame, making it hard for her to get married or gain employment.
However, all too often this is a crime that goes unreported and unpunished for fear of reprisal. Grassroots women’s rights organisations are the key to tackling this. With the right support, they can help to ensure that women’s rights are not just preached but put into practice, and that the one in three women worldwide who experience violence get the support and justice they deserve.