Fruits of the "victorious" revolution
The tragedy of women’s self-immolation in the province of Kurdestan
A Report by Zagros
Souma Kohnepushi was a 14-year-old girl who lived in Asr Abad, one of the villages near the township of Marivan. She set herself on fire in the summer of 2004. According to an investigation of the case, her brother had informed her that she had failed a school exam, one that she had been warned about by an older brother, who had threatened her. Fearing abuse, she set herself on fire and died with severe burns over 65% of her body.
August 22, 2005
Social and economic pressures in the province of Kurdestan are so severe that to free themselves of them, and as a sign of protest, some Kurdish women resort to self-immolation. In this province, women must not only bear the hardships of living in a patriarchal society, but they must also suffer from the tragic consequences of this arrangement. Theirs is a daily struggle with numerous social and cultural predicaments. Forced marriages, the denial of basic human rights, and domestic violence are all pains that make life for Kurdish women unbearable.
On June 28 2005, in the town of Kanidiyar a woman by the name of Shahla set herself on fire because of a dispute with her husband, resulting in burns over 85% of her body.
To view some pictures of Kurdish women who are victims of self-immolation click HERE.
According to a social researcher, “Unemployment rates in the province of Kurdestan are higher than in any other state. Investment is at its lowest rate, and the underprivileged live in absolute poverty.”
It should be noted that the excessive presence of the Islamic Republic’s military and security units also imposes many restrictions on the people in all the various cities of Kurdestan. Economic and commercial activities, and also transit along the borders, have been very perilous and at times even impossible. These circumstances play a large role in the rise of poverty and unemployment in this province.
This expert adds, “Without a fundamental change on the national level, any hopes for improvement in the province of Kurdestan seem unfounded, but an information bureau by Kurdish women may be necessary in the meantime to at least reduce the cases of self-immolation.
Siran Rashidi, member of the board of directors of Women of Marivan’s People’s Assembly, talks about the many difficulties faced by these Iranian women. (in Persian)