Imagine being permanently disfigured because someone disapproved of your clothing. For some women that's not just a hypothetical thought. In South Asia, some women have acid thrown on them, or are set on fire, by men seeking revenge. The women haven't committed any wrongdoings; they've simply asserted their rights as people by refusing marriage proposals, rejecting sexual advances, or simply dressing immodestly.
While there's still a lot of work to be done to stop these crimes, some groups focus on helping the victims. This article describes a beauty-parlor chain in Pakistan that's staffed by burn victims. Surprisingly, the women showed an interest in working in beauty, so after professional training, they're now supporting themselves — no small feat in a culture that treats them as outcasts. "Every person wishes that he or she is beautiful," says Saira Liaqat, who works at the salon. "But in my view, your face is not everything. Real beauty lies inside a person, not outside."
The project came together thanks to help from the Depilex Smileagain Foundation, a nonprofit that provides medical and job-placement services to burn victims. If you'd like to help support these women, donations can go to Smileagain USA, Bank of America, Account number: 005180666518, Routing number: 101100045. The Smileagain USA Federal Tax ID number, to be used for tax-exempt donations within the US, is 20-5826673.