Why are women committing suicide in Afghanistan?

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“I do not want to live anymore, that is why I tried to commit suicide by using poison.”

Jameela (fictitious name) had tried suicide last month because her fiancée refused to marry him. After six years of engagement, the Jameela’s fiancée broke the relationship by saying that they are no longer young.

Jamila is 18 years old at this time. His family had engaged him when he was 12 years old. Last month, when Jameela tried to get herself poisoned, her mother took her to a hospital in Herat.

Jilla is one of thousands of women who try suicide every year in Afghanistan.

More cases of suicides in women
According to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), about 3 thousand Afghan people try to commit suicide every year. More than half of these cases are recorded in the Herat Province.

According to health officials present in Herat, in the year 2017, a total of 1800 people attempted suicide, out of which 1400 were women. Of these, 35 were also killed.

In the year 2016, a total of 1000 suicidal cases were filed.

Globally, the number of males in suicide cases is higher compared to women, but in the total number of suicides cases in Afghanistan, 80 percent of cases are related to women.

According to the AIHRC, actual figures of suicide can be higher as many people do not file suicides reports for different reasons.

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Due to suicide
In rural areas, many people want to give suicidal cases to themselves, because suicides are considered non-Islamic.

On the other hand, there are different reasons for the increase in the case of women committing suicide in whole of Afghanistan.

AirAlam Nuristan, AHHRC, points out the reason: “The mental problems that happen to women, domestic violence, forced marriage and other pressures of society make them difficult situations.”

One thing is clear that life in Afghanistan is extremely difficult, in which the situation of women is even worse.
Mental stress and domestic violence
According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, more than 1 million Afghan people are victims of mental stress, in the last 40 years the situation of war has remained.

Violence against women is spread even more broadly. According to the United Nations Population Fund, approximately 87 percent of Afghan women have become victims of at least one kind of physical, sexual and mental violence. At the same time 62 percent of women have faced many types of violence.

There is a big reason for women to commit suicides in Afghanistan.

Nooristani says, “Violence is a cause for suicides in women, usually it starts from home, like forced marriage, women are not heard, they are not allowed to continue studies. . ”

According to a UNICEF report, nearly one-third of Afghan girls are married before they complete 18 years of age.

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Access to poisonous substances
According to a survey conducted by the Asia Foundation in 2017 for the Afghans, poverty and unemployment are also a major cause for concern for women.

Along with this, WHO says that being easily available for poison is also a reason for the increased rate of suicide. Poisonous substances are easily found in Afghanistan.

Explains Mohammed Rafik, spokesman of Herat Astant, “People’s reach has been easy to poisonous drugs and other substances in the past few years. We have discussed with many organizations that people’s access to poisonous substances should be removed. ”

Doctors present in Herat believe that unless a better strategy is to prevent suicide, these figures can not be reduced.

Doctor Nabil Fakriyar says efforts should be made at national level to find out the reasons for suicide in women.

Health officials present in Qabul have told that they have prepared a national level plan in this regard. Under this scheme, facilities for the people suffering from mental problems will be facilitated.

The Ministry of Health says that they are collecting data in this regard.
According to Nuristan, another goal of the human rights commission of the country should be to make people aware about mental problems across the country.

She says, “We need to make people aware so that they do not violence against women. Such cases are mostly in remote areas or in rural areas where people do not have much knowledge of the law, so people do not even know that they can be punished by violence against women of the family.

(In this report, BBC World Service’s Social Affairs correspondent Valeria Perezo and BBC associate Mohammad Kazizada, who is present in Herat have also contributed.)

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