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Friday, 27 November 2009

The Progressive Women's Association of Pakistan

From Okinawa Soba's ( who is responsible for the fabulous T.Enami photostream) comes this picture from a series on Chinese footbinding, which makes for fascinating but horrendous viewing and reading.

Equally horrendous but a whole lot more contemporary  is this series on acid burn victims in Pakistan, pointed out by Stan at Reciprocity Failure. It's not a new photographic subject but it doesn't need to be, why should it be, it still happens, it still continues and it will do for a long time (though the article mentions that Bangladesh has curbed sales of acid which has helped). But then footbinding ended when it was banned by Mao, so there's no reason why this can't end, especially when there are people fighting it on the ground like The Progressive Women's Association of Pakistan. From the article

Acid attacks and wife burnings are common in parts of Asia because the victims are the most voiceless in these societies: They are poor and female. The first step is simply for the world to take note, to give voice to these women.” Since 1994, a Pakistani activist who founded the Progressive Women’s Association (www.pwaisbd.org) to help such women “has documented 7,800 cases of women who were deliberately burned, scalded or subjected to acid attacks, just in the Islamabad area. In only 2 percent of those cases was anyone convicted.”

Link to The Progressive Women's Association of Pakistan



Unknown said...

I completely fail to understand how anyone can contemplate let alone carry out such meaningless and horrific actions on woman. I found the photographs very disturbing and it makes me feel sick that there are people like this alive today.


colin pantall said...

It's shocking - worst thing is it goes on all around the world, with different people, different religions, different continents in different forms but we still find ways to justify it.

Jenny Woolf said...

And don't you also think that the vilest thing is that cultured and civilized peoples have developed the philosophies to justify and indeed condone these atrocities. This is one of the things which makes the Nazi atrocities so particularly disgusting, too. You can sort of understand poor, ignorant deprived boors committing atrocities because they are too wretched and stupid to know any better. But China and India had marvellous and sophisticated civilisations, and Germany was famous for its cultural history and achievements.

colin pantall said...

Most atrocities require a certain amount of organisation and civilisation behind them to get to the scale that make them noteworthy. But culture and civilisation are not synonymous with grace, knowledge and learning. Never have been, never will.