Thursday, January 15, 2009

Education-Hungry Afghan Girls Facing Disfigurement, Still Undaunted

After the defeat of the fundamentalist Taliban government in Afghanistan in December, 2001, a fresh air of freedom began to blow with the installation of western-backed Karzai government. Once again Afghan women began to freely move about and girls flocked to schools, newly built with foreign assistance. In the mean time, the strictly-Shariah-believing Talibans began to assert themselves through guerrilla warfare and reoccupation of certain parts of the country.

Acid Attack: An Attempt to Deter Girls from Attending Schools

The Talibans, when in power, banned women from working outside their homes, forced women and girls into wearing burqahs, and stopped girls from attending schools, except the madrasahs. Now they are using sulphuric or hydrochrolic acid to disfigure school-going girls and frighten others from joining schools.

Shamsia Husseini, 17, was disfigured with acid two months ago. Now she is attending school again with increased determination. Other courageous girls are following her, too.

Acid Throwing: A 'Personal Terrorism'

According to The New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, acid throwing is a 'personal terrorism' that takes place person to person. This practice is evident from Afghanistan through Cambodia. He mentions of a case of a Pakistani woman, Naeema Azar, whose just divorced and avenging husband disfigured her with acid. She is determined to seek justice against him. Bookmark and Share