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Facing Brave: Women Take on the Acid-Throwers


Tuesday 7 May 2019, 8:00pm–9:30pm


L19 Cube
The Village, Brewery Green at The Tetley
LS10 1JQ

Facing Brave: Women Take on the Acid-Throwers event image
Reclaiming power for good in the fight against acid attacks one step at a time. An abuse of power, a desire to mark as your own, a statement of hatred – the violent use of acid is on the up. But whether it’s a single step or a leap of faith, a quiet detail or an overwhelming call – inspiration and innovation can grow from many places. _Facing Brave_ looks to the people fighting back against this aggressive crime; to those working to empower victims and potential victims alike. In this lively panel discussion, Bradford doctor Almas Ahmed will share the story of how she chose to confront the scourge of acid attacks by becoming the inventor of the world’s first acid-proof make-up. Women’s Rights expert Danielle Cornish Spencer will give a first-hand account of the international fight against violence against women and girls, and set out some of the global and political challenges of acid-throwing. Skin Scientist Dr. Julie Thornton will explore the scientific challenge of skin burns, drawing on her experience of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at the Centre for Skin Sciences, founded following the 1985 Bradford City disaster. The UK has one of the highest levels of acid attacks in the world – with around two attacks happening every day. Rather than wait for the victims to arrive at A & E (where she currently works), Dr. Ahmed decided to formulate a new, clinically-approved product that would help to take the fear, and the power, away from acid-throwers. Globally, the violent use of acid as an extreme form of power – often male power, over women and girls – is being tackled by grassroots women’s rights organisations, led by survivors and helped by organisations such as ActionAid. Together, these grassroots organisations are making a real difference to the laws and social norms that allow these attacks to happen. Protecting skin from burns is a challenge. The science behind it is as complex as the organ itself. The internationally-renowned Centre for Skin Sciences has been integrating basic science with applied research for over 30 years to help further understanding of what is needed to defend and repair our skin. This event is curated by the Thackray Medical Museum, where, on a primary school trip, the young Almas Ahmed was first inspired to become a doctor. The powerful and compelling story of how acid-throwers are being taken on by women globally will show how each of us has the power to imagine, to invent and to transform our world for the better.

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