News from the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
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Pajhwok Afghan News, October 23, 2006

Social problems behind women's suicide in Helmand

Fuzia said about 100 women, most of them young girls, had committed suicide.

Abdul Samad Rohani

Gulbar was burnt by her husband
RAWA: Women Affairs Department report about women suicide rate, presents the “official” figures, the real figures are much higher.

LASHKARGAH, Oct 23 (Pajhwok Afghan News): According to Women Affairs Department ill-treatment, domestic disputes and economic problems are behind the increasing incidents of women committing suicide in the southern volatile Helmand province, also known as centre of poppy cultivation.

The officials said about 18 to 20 women, most of them young girls, had committed suicide during this year in the province. Of the 20 only four girls took their lives in the last month.

17-year-old Ghoty (blossom) is one among those girls who committed suicide just one week ago of the sacred month of Ramadan in Lashkargah. Sardar Mohammad father of Ghoty said some cardiac disease deprived him of his obedient daughter, but helpless brother of Ghoty does not agree with his father.

The dejected brother said his father was annoyed by Ghoty refusal tying knot against her will. He said: "Disagreeing with father decision, father compelled her for obeying his order." Ghoty started taking opium and after few days died with heart pain, the brother added. A doctor at Bast Hospital, requesting anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Ghoty was died of excessive use of opium. He said: "We received Ghoty when she was expired, and after postmortem we found excessive use of opium caused her death."

Likewise, another woman was also died by taking excessive doze of contraband. Describing the ordeal of this woman, head of the Women Affairs Department in Helmand Fuzia Aloomi said the deceased was ill-treated by her family members.

She said the deceased started using opium to come to terms with her unbearable troubles and then a massive dose proves her last one.

Naseema, a resident of Nawzad district of the province, but currently abiding in Greshik district killed herself with a Kalashnikov fire. The decease was also working with Women Rights Council. Gulalai Sherzada, official of the Women Rights Council, said Naseema came to her and requested her transfer to Lashkargah.

UNIFEM Survey revealed: "65 per cent of the 50,000 widows in Kabul see suicide the only option to get rid of their miseries and desolation."
Indo Asian News Service, Aug. 14, 2006

Gulalai said she declined her request due to poor security situation in the region. She said: "Shortly Naseema dragged Kalashnikov with a policeman and fired a shot in her chest."

Fuzia said about 100 women, most of them young girls, had committed suicide. She said family disputes, dilapidated economic condition, tying knot of daughters against their consent were factors behind such suicides.

Dr Rahmatullah Mohammadi, a psychiatrist in Helmand, said mentally sound people did not commit suicide. He said: "If the mentally sick people were not paid due attention and did not confide to a secure place they often choose death for themselves."

Torpaiki Sana, expert of Women Affiars, said most girls were illiterate and killing themselves seemed to them the only solution to the husbands frequent rebuking.

She said: "Men often keep opium in homes after its collection that tempt women and later push them in the jaws of death."

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