This thesis explores one of the most commonly practiced forms of violence against women in Bangladesh: acid attack. Bangladesh has traditionally been a male-dominated society that has permitted the perpetuation of such horrific crime against women. Despite the dangerous nature of the problem, acid violence is not as widely recognized by the global society as other social problems that the state faces. Through semi-structured interviews, nonparticipant observation, document analysis and content analysis, this study identifies the root causes of acid attack and the reasons for its stubborn survival. In addition, this report examines the country's characteristics that hinder the efforts of the organizations - the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Bangladesh - that work for the complete eradication of the phenomenon. The results reveal the major push factors of acid throwing as impunity, revenge for various disputes and easy access to acid. Furthermore, both ASF and UNICEF express criticism towards the state for its failure to effectively respond to the vicious cultural crime that severely affects the holistic health of the victims. Various sociological theories, such as Talcott Parsons' functionalism, Michel Foucault's framework of the Panopticon and the transnational advocacy network theory, are applied to strengthen the findings.


Matsuzawa, Setsuko


Sociology and Anthropology


Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Soorim C. Jin