Acid Resistant Makeup: An Effective Non-Legislative Measure Against Acid Attacks?

Acid Resistant Makeup: An Effective Non-Legislative Measure Against Acid Attacks?

You know humanity has failed when there is a need to create acid resistant makeup because no matter how hard we crack down on such a heinous act, the number of cases against this crime keep increasing. British doctor, Dr. Almas Ahmed, has spent the past decade developing makeup that has acid resistant technology, because the number of acid attacks in the UK is growing every day. According to statistics, 465 cases of acid attacks were reported in 2017. In fact, 2017 was the worst year for acid attacks in London.

Dr. Almas Ahmed has done extensive research for the past 10 years to develop a formula called ACarrier, which is essentially waterproof, resistant to heat and able to prevent acidic materials from penetrating the skin. The compound/formula can be added to pre-owned makeup. It can blend easily with normal foundation and can be added or applied to different kinds of makeup, such as eyeliners, lipsticks, mascaras and nail polishes.

The formula can be used by acid attack victims as well as those exposed to fire injuries.

Pakistan isn’t the only country in the world where acid attacks are so prevalent. The UK now has one of the highest rates of recorded acid and corrosive substance attacks per capita in the world and this number appears to be rising.

These statistics are a clear indication of how common gender based violence really is, globally. Acid throwing is a type of physical assault which is the act of literally throwing acid or a similar corrosive substance onto another human body with the intention to torture, kill or disfigure. Acid is thrown by perpetrators onto their victims – usually at their faces – burning them and damaging skin tissue, often exposing the bones and sometimes completely dissolving them.

Acid attacks can take place because of various different reasons. They can occur as revenge against a woman if she rejects a marriage proposal or a sexual advance. Women’s position in a particular society and gender inequality in relation to men play significant roles in these types of attacks. Other reasons for such attacks include, but are not limited to, racial differences, political, social and religious conflicts, gang violence, conflicts over property, and so on.

Even though acid attack victims and survivors are mostly women, men too get victimized, especially when it comes to settling religious conflicts, particularly in cases of forced conversions.

In Pakistan, acid attacks have been around since long. The ‘honour’ factor plays a huge role in this matter. Because women are seen as sole honor bearers of the house, acid attacks against women mostly happen in instances where wives have ‘dishonored’ their husbands. Other motivations behind acid attacks against women in Pakistan are marriage proposal refusals as well as religious extremism.

Legally speaking, under the qisas law in Pakistan, the perpetrator is to be punished by having drops of acid placed into his or her eyes. Despite having such strict and painful punishments for the crime, there is hardly any action taken against it. Unfortunately, acid attack crimes are highly underreported, which makes it even more difficult to find a solution or appropriately put a stop to these harmful acts of violence.

It is baffling to think that as humans we have drifted so far from sanity that wearing acid resistant makeup is what we have to do to live in peace. For women especially, this shows the severity of the problem because they live in fear every day and in order to avoid being violated, they need to apply a special formula on their face and body to remain safe. How many safety measures will women have to come up with to protect themselves because no outside force can do it for them? Will women have to eventually come up with rape resistant makeup as well to shield themselves from being sexually assaulted? There are many questions that we need to start thinking about very seriously as we head down a scary path.

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any other organization with which she might be associated

Purniya Awan

The writer is a Gender Studies graduate from York University, has been nominated as a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, is a former member of Youth Parliament Pakistan and is currently working as a Communications Specialist at the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women. She tweets @PurniyaA



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