WomenforWomen has planned the following missions for 2014 and 2015 so far:
If you are a medical professional and would like to join our team on one of these missions please apply here
Each mission we ensure that the safety for each team member involved as well as that of the patient is guaranteed. We work with several checklists prior to and during the missions to make certain that only those female patients are being operated which otherwise could not afford a treatment and that the equipment onsite is according to the necessary standards. At the location, we aim to educate our local colleagues and the nursing staff as much as possible in order to enable them to continue the work independently, especially the post-operative treatment of the patients.
Each mission is thoroughly documented by our team, which enables us to evaluate our missions and draw new conclusions that help us to optimise and improve the planning for the next missions. In the various missions in India, the WomenForWomen team of plastic surgeons noticed, that 90 % of the patients that went for examination, never before had undergone treatment for their burn injuries.
The United Nations General Assembly defines “violence against women” (VAW) as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
Women in India often cannot escape domestic violence when they are subject to it, as they do not have the means to live alone, and their in-laws will not support them once they are married. With no means to support herself or her family, an Indian woman facing domestic abuse is stuck in a vicious cycle from which she cannot escape. There is a social stigma attached to divorce and separations, which means that women who are the subject of domestic violence will face pressure from their families not to leave their abusive spouse.
Facts and Figures
In India, 35 percent of women in the age 15-49 have experienced physical or sexual violence at some point in their life.
At least one in seven of married and divorced women have suffered injury as a result of spousal violence. Paying and accepting dowry has been illegal in India for 40 years but it is still rampant. Indian Government statistics show that husbands and in-laws killed nearly 7,000 women in 2001 over inadequate dowry payments. BBC article on dowry deaths
Acid violence seems to be almost unique to South Asia, with most incidents occurring in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Part of the reason is that acid is cheap and widely available. Many Indians use concentrated acid to sterilize their kitchens and bathrooms, as Americans would use bleach.
The acid attack phenomenon is becoming increasingly common and widespread, with neither class nor caste nor creed nor any other variable serving as protective barriers, and with triggers ranging from unrequited love and marital discord (often over trivial matters) through family feuds and property disputes to enforcement of social diktats of various kinds.