A private TV channel reported a gruesome incident in Sheikhupura where a man, Nawazish, forced his wife to drink acid after she gave birth to a baby girl. Reports indicated that family members assisted the man in assaulting his wife. Nawazish, a resident of Jandyala Road, was blessed with a daughter but his vicious contempt for female offspring led him to attack his wife, not only after labor but also prior to delivery; a few months into pregnancy, Nawazish attempted to poison his wife in order for her to miscarry the baby. Once the infant was born, he refused to look at her, and left to retrieve acid to ‘punish’ his wife for her supposed sin.

This horrifying account is nothing new for the women in remote and rural areas of Pakistan where the lack of education, archaic social conditioning and rampant poverty lead male relatives to commit terrifying acts of violence against women of all ages. So deeply embedded and commonly occurring is this abuse against women that the reports of new stories rarely shock us now. This growing desensitization toward the plight of women in Pakistan is a disease that demands an immediate cure, or else more women will continue to become morsels of virulent, misognynistic hate.

Empty condemnations, forever pending bills and inactive civil societies only exacerbate the issue at hand. The unfortunate truth in this ordeal is that our words are now obsolete; all that we say to chastise these horrific realities remains redundant if our activism is limited and temporary. According to the Center for Peace and Development Initiative, reports of domestic violence against women went up to thousands including acid attacks mostly in villages. Little seems to be changing for the better in 2013. As long as women are still seen as public property, and in some way or form less worthy or capable of independence, or of lesser ability than men, such brutality and prejudice against women and girl-children is unlikely to end.