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Old 09-25-2007, 11:57 PM   #1
Achilles
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Suicide epidemic striking Kurdish women

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IRBIL, Iraq Three weeks after she was burned, the petite 18-year-old lay in a hospital bed, her head, arms and upper torso swathed in cotton. He seared face was daubed with ointment.

She looked at the ceiling and thought about her new life. "I don't know about the future," she said, still looking up. "It will be whatever Allah brings." She refused to give her name.

A gas stove had exploded when she'd tried to light it, she said.

Her nurses don't buy it. They recognize the pattern of the burns and have seen hundreds of cases like hers, many with variations on the same story. A teenage girl with a young marriage, and "a cooking accident."
Wow.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:34 PM   #2
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The Kurdish environment can be quite harsh. A certain Shilan Shorsh, Kurdish woman, attended my school last year, and she led an organization for Kurdish womens' rights and was a member of a Norwegian political party to further her cause. She spoke of death threats leveled at her for fighting for Kurdish-Norwegian women's rights to do basic things like go to the movies with friends. Not to mention fighting fundamentalist habits such as forced marriage. She was in the media a lot some time ago when she won a civil rights award for her struggle (we threw a party for her at my school), and when she was interviewed by one of my city's papers on how little freedom Kurdish girls in Norway are given their parents.

Your article was not an easy read.
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Some victims are as young as 12, but most range from age 15 to 25. Nearly all choose fire as their method. The typical method is dousing themselves with kerosene and striking a match, often in a locked shower room.

"It's the most painful way to die," Yones said. "I don't know why they do it. In other cultures, they may use pills or guns, but for Kurds, they burn themselves. We even hear of cases among Kurds who have immigrated to Europe ."

Hundreds more have survived with horrible scars, only to have their husbands and friends desert them and parents hide them from the rest of the family and visitors out of shame, said Mahabat Amin Monsour, the director of the Women's Union of Kurdistan , the largest women's advocacy group in the region.

[...]

"Maybe she's a teenager, and she has to take care of the house, the husband and the kids and she just can't handle it," Monsour said.

[...]

Because it's so painful, fire is a puzzling choice of weapon, even to the experts who follow the problem.

Kurdish culture, though, is tied to fire. Kurds celebrate the new year by burning tires. Also, the trend feeds on itself, with some girls, nurses say, copying suicides they hear about in local news media.

Then there's the simple fact that many Kurdish women spend the day in the kitchen working with fire, while they may not have access to, say, pills, Yones said.

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Old 09-28-2007, 02:40 AM   #3
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, that's horrible.


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Old 09-29-2007, 01:07 AM   #4
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A few abstracts from medical journals on self-immolation in the Middle East. The first study said 80% of women who attempt suicide this way die. Those that survive face an extremely painful recovery, physically and emotionally. If it comes up, TBSA is 'total body surface area', a percentage that's derived from the amount of the body that's burned. The higher the number, the worse the burn, and the higher the morbidity/mortality rate goes.
You might need to create a free medscape account to view these. My experience with them is that they don't sell email addys and so I've not gotten spam from them.

http://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/17211198
http://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/10431982
http://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/15082345


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Old 09-29-2007, 02:12 AM   #5
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ouch...

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Old 09-29-2007, 02:48 AM   #6
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It's sad when somebody tries to take their life, no matter the reason, hope she recovers.


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Old 10-11-2007, 01:28 PM   #7
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This is alot worse than zipping open the tummy with a katana. >.<
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:06 PM   #8
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It's sad when somebody tries to take their life, no matter the reason.
Word.

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Old 10-13-2007, 12:37 PM   #9
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This is also a very big problem in Afghanistan as well. Women setting themselves on fire to try to escape the brutal life of being an impoverished Afghan woman.
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