Previous Self-Burning Among Afghan Women Next
Photos Index

October 22, 2004: Zarah, 19-years-old, shows scars that she suffered when she set fire to herself at the climax of an argument with her husband only three months into their marriage in Herat, Afghanistan. She said her husband was beating her for disobedience and she wanted to prove to him that she did not want to live with him. Zarah is now divorced and lives with her mother.
The problems facing women in Afghanistan are complex and are closely linked to their subordinate position in the Afghan society where conservative Islamic laws and traditions dictate what a woman is allowed to do in a male dominated world. Forced marriages, domestic violence, poverty and lack of access to education are several reasons for suicide.

Photo by Paula Bronstein