Women Choose Suicide in Afghanistan

Women in Afghanistan are choosing suicide to escape “their dire circumstances,” according to a new report issued by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department. Even in the relatively peaceful region of Herat, over 80 women reportedly set themselves on fire in 2008.

Consider women’s situation in Afghanistan. Last year, a law was passed that legalized marital rape, and although President Hamid Karzai temporarily withdrew it due to international outrage, he pardoned two men guilty of gang rape. Human Rights Watch found in one survey that an astonishing 87 percent of female respondents had undergone “forced marriage or at least one form of physical, sexual or psychological violence.” (HRW) In addition, according to the Afghan Penal Code, victims of rape can be penalized for adultery.

The organization Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan is calling for the Canadian government to put more emphasis on women’s rights before the nation’s 2011 deadline for withdrawal. “As Canadians we have a moral and ethical responsibility to support the women of Afghanistan,” says the organization’s treasurer Penny Christensen.

Meanwhile in the U.S., as President Obama plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, the Center for American Progress has urged the administration to include women’s rights as a vital part of its agenda. Peter Juul of CAP notes, “Women’s security is a leading indicator of instability, and as such will provide a valuable means for determining the success of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.” In the 2009 Appropriations Bill passed in June, Senator Barbara Boxer secured $30 million for women-led NGOs in Afghanistan.

Do the U.S. and other nations currently in Afghanistan have the responsiblity of securing women’s rights? Voice your opinion below.


Loretta K.
Loretta K7 years ago

They marry these girls off before puberty many times,if they are raped by someone other than the husband, then she is punished. Do they do female circumcision there too? I guess in the case of gang rape she is just killed by the husband if she survives.. A life time of this and endless child bearing to look forward to and I see why they would rather die. Cruelty is cruelty is cruelty. Of course our leaders should absolutely not put up with this barbarism. The lower ranking men get bad treatment by those more powerful as well, they can easily be killed if the leaders don't approve of their actions.

Dan S.
Dan S.7 years ago

The statement which has infiltrated into the Islamic faith about women being in hell comes from what are called the Hadiths, which as I understand, are so-called sayings of the Muhammad, but this claim is suspect at best and downright slanderous at worst. I think that the Hadiths were reflective of the attitudes and culture of the Arabian people at the time they were written and have little if any spiritual integrity. Despite this, many Muslims believe in their authenticity no matter how corrupt they may be.

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ana p.
ana p7 years ago

OF COURSE THEY HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY! Why did they go there? Is it not to secure human rights? Aren't woman human???????

Barb G.
Past Member 7 years ago

Many cultures are governed by men, by tribal traditions. No matter what religion is prominant, those tribal cultures and traditions are simply carried over into that religion. This is unforunate of course. Education of women is paramount; however, women are denied education in many places including Afganistan - and it is the men in charge of the villages that forbid it as have their ancestors. Tradition is an extremely difficult thing to give up. Anyone from the "outside" is considered an infidel or heretic - esp when it comes to challenging those long-held cultural belief systems. Yet it doesn't hurt to try.
One such place where Islam was introduced that did not immediately subject women to subservent status was the Maldive Islands - interesting history worth reading about.
Meanwhile, prayers (in any form you wih) are welcome.
Salaams Peace Pax Namaste

Ray P.
Mary P7 years ago

Michael L - "only one is the correct one, because why God would create multiple religions to throw humanity into wars and disarray? Every other religion is man-made, false and flawed. I think we can all agree that Islam is obviously not by the true God, and rather created by sinful man. Explains why so many of their religious practices involve abusing women."

Frm The QURAN, The Revelation of God "Undoubtly WE have sent down TAURAH, wherein is the guidance and light. And WE gave ISA(Jesus) INJEEL wherein is guidance and light and confirms TAURAH that had come b4 it. And O Beloved Prophet We have sent down to you THE TRUE BOOK confirming the BOOKS preceding it.WE ordained a LAW and way for ALL OF YOU and if ALLAH had willed, HE would have made you all a SINGLE PEOPLE but HE desires to test you in what HE has given you. So desire to excell in good deeds. You are all to return towards ALLAH, then HE shall tell you regarding what you used to DISPUTE"

BTW michael - MUSLIMS refer to GOD as ALLAH. Plse note every messenger from ADAM to MOHAMMED(P.B.U.T.) brought the same message i.e. THE ONENESS OF GOD to Mankind.

Do NOT blame any RELIGION( ALL are the RELIGIONS of ONE GOD) for the ACTS of sum IGNORANT Followers. Can we BLAME Christianity for the murderous acts of Bush or Judaism for Torturous and Evil Acts of Cheney.

Beware and Think b4 u voice your Blasphamous Thoughts to the world.

Jennifer M.
Jennifer M7 years ago

This is a complete abomination-I'm doing a research project on women's rights in Afghanistan, and I was wondering if anyone has some resources they might direct me too? I think it's an important/somewhat overlooked issue-esp. VGM.

Jil E.
Jil E7 years ago

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Jewels S.
Jewels S7 years ago

Definition of guilt: anger turned inward

Jewels S.
Jewels S7 years ago

It is shocking to me that someone would think someones else's comment was unfair when we are talking about women so emotionally tortured by legal emotional abuse by the men in their life that they would light themselves on fire. Just blows my mind. How selfcentered and selfish. Some would say it is shame some say guilt. Who cares what you call it, what are you doing to help change it? Teach girls near me that they are special no matter what someone says to them. No matter how many times a person puts you down. Teach them that if someone puts you down it is a reflection on abuser not themselves.

Ave Rothschild Rubin

I do believe that women that were brought up from infancy to view themselves as worthless does in fact develop a feeling of strong personal guilt through the simple equation: worthless = bad. Believe you are “bad” you will feel that there is nothing you can do to be “good” because all your acts are tainted.
Another important factor in which the desires of men have been forced on all of society and escape criticism by the reinforcement of religion. It is a very complex situation, women allowed men to act according to their desires, without even thinking that men have been forced to act that way thinking that is a "macho" way..