Living with facial disability: The experiences of female survivors of acid attack in Pakistan

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Gulrez, Huma
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This study aimed to highlight the experiences, struggles and challenges of those women who have experienced facial disability due to acid violence in Pakistan. It addressed the issues in terms of knowing the actual reasons behind acid violence, the role of patriarchal culture and how these women perceive themselves after the incident. Using a qualitative research design, nine in-depth interviews were conducted with women with facial disability. All of them were working in the profession of beauty. They were recruited with the help of one non-profit organization named “Depilex Smileagain Foundation” (DSF). The social/cultural context of disability in Pakistani society was examined from the perspectives of the participants to gain insider knowledge. The participants identified the role of Pakistani society/culture in their lives as negative and discouraging especially in relation to marriage, employability and seeking justice; whereas the role of DSF was strongly supported and appreciated by participants in bringing back their lost confidence post-attack. They shared their experiences which are thought provoking for policy makers, government agencies as well as for other readers in order to understand the continuous powerful societal pressure on the minds of women with facial disability.
Violence, Women with disabilities, Pakistan, Acid attacks