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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-14-98

Female Suicides Continue to Rise in Taleban-Controlled Afghanistan

As the Taliban’s grip on Afghanistan worsens, so does the oppresion of women. USAID workers are reporting an increase in the cases of women committing suicide, through the use of caustic soda. The unending oppression instituted by the country’s fundamentalist, Islamic code has undoubtedly forced many of these suicides.

“Caustic soda burns away the throat,” one doctor said. “It takes three days to die. Regrettably, the only surgeon capable of performing the kind of intervention needed is in a hospital that is now closed to women.”

Thousands of other women are being secretly committed to mental institutions for severe depression, a condition that for many has continually worsened since the Taliban prohibited women from working or attending school.

“What kills women is sitting at home without a job,” said one widow.

Economic strains, aggravated by the loss of women’s income, have lead to a host of other problems, including a staggering increase in the incidence of domestic abuse and prostitution among girls, some of whom are as young as eight or nine.

Media Resources: The Human Rights Information Network - May 27, 1998


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