Hundreds of women in many countries
have been burned with acid, usually in the face, for dishonoring
a man. This could be because she rejected his marriage propasal,
or accused him of raping her. It doesn't matter if she is a child,
many children have been scarred as well. It helps to understand
these men's reasoning behind burning a woman's face. In many
countries, the father must pay a dowry to the prospective husband.
This varies as to how much the woman is "worth". If
a man's marriage proposal is denied, he will suffer financially
and will also be humiliated. By burning the woman, he is ensuring
that she will be worthless, at least where money is concerned.
Actually, a woman can be burned
for any reason and the man is almost never prosecuted. It is
a somewhat acceptable practice in many places. There have been
many women who have been burned in a case of mistaken identity.
Sometimes a man will burn the faces of his enemy's wife and daughters
as a way of getting even.
This atrocity is most common
in Bangladesh and Afghanistan, where women have no value as human
beings. The only value a woman carries in these countries is
how much dowry her father can pay for an accepted marriage proposal.
Sulphuric acid is the most widely used and very readily available,
costing only sixty cents a bottle. Hydrochloric acid is also
used in some cases. As these countries are very poor, little,
if any, treatment is available to these horribly scarred women.
It is reported that Bangladesh has only five burn centers and
the vast majority of burned women couldn't afford treatments
Increasingly, men have begun
attacking their wives for such minor offenses as not having dinner
ready or not having sex. This is believed to be attributed to
the fact that women are gaining independence in cultures where
they were formerly repressed. Many organizations are providing
loans to women who want to start a small business and increase
their social standing. Men are put off by this and risk losing
control over their women.
Maybe the most ironic thing
is that though these men are fighting for control over the women,
most of the attacks occur while the woman is asleep. This shows
an obvious lack of courage on their part, as they cannot even
face the woman while he does it. Since many women in the family
often share a bed, it is common for one attack to yield two,
three, or even four victims. Most men are never prosecuted for
committing this heinous crime against women.