Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when Monira Rahman was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Monira is a brave, successful pioneer in the fight to stop violence against women—and, indeed, all of us.

A few cents will buy enough battery acid to eat away much of a woman’s face, usually blinding her in the process. That’s the end of studies, work, and social life. Each such case casts a pall of fear over many, many others, discouraging independence, let alone challenge.

Monira has mobilized organizations all across the country, including law, medical, and citizen groups. They have won new legislation controlling access to acid, imposing severe penalties for acid throwers, and policing support institutions.

In parallel, Monira has catalyzed (1) very important nationwide quick response capacity and (2) subsequent skilled treatment and reintegration services. Monira established a nationwide infrastructure with other citizen organizations (COs), hospitals, and the media to provide medical, psychological, social, legal, and financial support, so that survivors can lead independent and productive lives. The unique combination of support services empowers “victims” to become “survivors” and ultimately social advocates.

Further, she and her movement have engaged many in the country to think about and question/reject not only this awful practice but also many of the unspoken norms that have been associated with it.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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