The murder and suicide of women in Ghor province is considered to be an alarming issue. Since the beginning of the current year, seven murders have occurred and 5 cases of suicide have been registered in the province, reports say.
Ghor is a relatively underprivileged and insecure province in the western part of Afghanistan where murder and suicide rate of women is high. After speaking to officials and civil activists, Reporterly has found out that one of the main reasons for the murder and suicide of women in the province is attributed to family violence.
Lal Wa Sarjangal District
According to data registered in office of Human Rights Commission in Ghor province, seven murder and five suicide cases of women has been reported this year. The violence was mostly common in Shahrak, Lal Wa Sarjangal, Tulak and Du Layna districts of the province.
Abdul Samad Amiri, head of provincial office of Human Rights Commission of Ghor province told Reporterly: “Murder and suicide have mounted in the province recently and 12 cases were recorded at Human Rights Commission and there might be more violence in the areas and districts controlled by Taliban group. But due to insecurity problems, the Human Rights Commission doesn’t have access to those areas and people in those places may not have information about the commission too.”
Meanwhile, Sayed Mohammad Yasin Najafizadah, district governor of Lal Wa Sarjangal said that 5 cases of murder have been recorded only in this district. Domestic violence has been the cause of most of the suicide cases in the district. Having an abusive husband has also been reported as the motive that forces women to commit suicide. In another case, a woman committed suicide due to forced marriage. According to reports, one of these women was murdered by her husband but this man has been sentenced to 30 years of jail. The perpetrators of suicide and other murders have not yet been arrested.
Major Reasons for Suicide & Murder of Women in Ghor Province
The traditional views of many citizens of this province, the low level of knowledge, Taliban’s influence in some areas of the province and family violence including physical violence, threats, humiliation, coercion and under age marriage, poverty and addiction are among the main motives of women’s murder and suicide in Ghor province.
However, among these, domestic violence is one of the main reasons for suicide and murder cases of women.
“In my point of view, three reasons have contributed to the murder and suicide of women in this province. The traditional view and low level of knowledge of the people in the province are the motives behind occurrence of the cases. When people are uneducated, they don’t know about women’s rights and status of women in Islam. The third reason is Taliban’s control in some parts of the province where women face violence because people can’t express their opinions freely nor are able to continue their education,” Rahmatullah Rahimi social activist in Ghor told Reporterly.
Mr. Amiri explained the motives of the murder and suicide of women in the province: “When an underage girl gets married or is forced to marry and there is no intimacy between them, tension rises the couple. Besides, an underage girl doesn’t know how to manage and hold a family together which also results in putting pressure on her that leads to rise of tensions. Therefore, the husband neither understands her nor observes the rights she has. So, the woman is obliged to commit suicide.”
In addition to the reports about the seriousness of women’s predicament and increase in suicide rates in Ghor province, there are programs being implemented to reduce and eliminate violence against women in the province.
“We have programs such as investigating into and advocating for cases of violence against women, raising awareness about women’s rights and negative consequences of violence against women, monitoring women’s access to their human rights and protecting the victims of family violence to lessen domestic violence”, Abdul Ahad Farzam, head of regional office of Human Rights told Reporterly.
These programs are implemented in the center of Ghor province and other districts, except for the Taliban-dominated districts and areas. But apparently the existing programs have not been able to reduce the amount of violence to the extent which is expected by the public.
Meanwhile, in addition to Ghor, domestic violence and suicide in other Afghan provinces have raised widespread tension. At the same time, the peace process and recent talks with the Taliban and the fear and return of the group has raised concerns for Afghan women.