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Burn Victims in Pakistan

Burn Victims Become Beauticians in Pakistan

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.


Join The Conversation
WhitneyGH WhitneyGH 8 years
What a wonderful organization. I agree with sldc that these women, and the organization, show true beauty. JaimeLeah: Just imagine what would be done to these men if this happened in more developed countries Unfortunately, men do things like this to women in developed countries, too. Violence against women is prevalent all over the world, even in countries where women are more empowered. For example, a 2004 multi-country study of domestic violence concluded the following: Surprisingly, several measures of female empowerment--employment, education, or attitudes related to gender equity, such as believing that women have the right to refuse sex to their husbands--did not directly correlate in the study with a reduced risk of abuse. And women who make most of their household's decisions alone--such as whether to make large purchases or to have another child--were victims of domestic violence at the same rate as those with little say in the allocation of their family's resources. While women in developed nations fortunately don't have to worry about strange men throwing acid on them because of their dress, they still suffer abuse and violence. We need more organizations like Smileagain, and more awareness of the problem of violence against women.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
There was a salon back in NC that employed women who had been disfigured by violence from their partner/spouse. We moved before I was old enough to go (my hair was a mom-job til I was a junior in HS), but had I had the option, I'd have gone in a heartbeat. My great grandma was a beautician and had a shop next to her house, when she passed on, my grandmother donated all her shop supplies to them. Glad to know the idea isn't just in a small town in's in small towns all over. I'd trust these ladies to do my hair any day.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
:( UGHHH. I agree ladies. Heartbreaking and those men are sick.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 8 years
This is absolutely infuriating! Its moments like these where I want to dedicate my life to being a ninja/vigilante and setting those disgusting cowards on fire and ask them how it feels!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
It's so horrible that men still think they can control these women in this day and age. Just imagine what would be done to these men if this happened in more developed countries. It's so great that these woman are able to move on with their lives. Thanks for the post and the information on donating.
blueviolet blueviolet 8 years
This is heartbreaking. Thank you for the post.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Thanks for posting this with the information. This is very empowering for these women to have purpose and not let the negativity bring them down low.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
This is awesome that this group is helping these women. Them being able to take care of themselves, do their own thing after being punished for nothing more than being themselves I think is the ultimate "screw you" :raspberry: to the people that tried to bring them down
sldc sldc 8 years
This post is more about beauty than most. I think it is beautiful that an organization is trying to empower women who have been victimized. Thanks for posting.
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