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Saving Face

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Crystal Garcia


INTS 201-502

Dr. Hannaford

Saving Face

The documentary takes place in Islamabad, Pakistan. There is a clinic for victims of acid attacks and many are reported but most are not. Men especially husbands throw acid on women and girls. Battery acid is typically to throw at women and the burning happens in an instant. Men do not get away with these crimes and are put in jail. Women have no power after they are burned and have to submit to their husband even more. Men will not admit that they burned their wife or abused them. There are support groups for burned victims and most women do not take their cases to court. Human rights activist have been fighting over the issue for more than 30 years. A potential law is putting these guilty men in prison for life. The bill was finally brought to parliament after months of delay and thankfully it passed.

After watching this video, I came to realize that certain countries practice women rights more than others. This video showed that women have to do whatever is necessary to please not only their husbands but his family as well. Just one wrong move or insult can lead to acid being throw in the face affecting that women for the rest of her life. In western countries the idea of women rights is practice more by allowing them to obtain jobs, not be forced into marriage, and allowing them to do what they want without constantly consulting with their husbands. Granted there is still room for improvements especially when it comes to maternity leave and closing the gap of the gender pay gap. Thankfully, Pakistan is taking the proper steps to help move women rights in a positive direction by allowing men to serve a sentence if they commit violence through throwing acid.

I also notice that the two women being interviewed in Saving Face are very sensitive about how they look after the burns heal leaving a lot of scaring on the face. It gets to a point to where they feel like they must be covered up fully excluding their eyes. This reminds me of the reading The Poor Have the Right to be Beautiful by Edmonds Alexander that was assigned to us in the first half of the semester. Women in Brazil felt that in order for them to be socially acceptable, they had to get plastic surgery and were willing to wait years for the process. It also help built their self-esteem like the plastic surgery did to the two women being documented. The only downside to plastic surgery is that it can lead to an obsession of having to fit the image of the ideal women in Pakistan or in Brazil.

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