Afghan women seek death by fire
- Afghan women seek death by fireMarjan, 13, has burns across much of her bodyIncreasing numbers of Afghan women are committing suicide by setting fire to themselves to escape difficult lives, according to NGOs based in the country.They say women forced into marriage or suffering chronic abuse are killing themselves out of desperation.Although estimates are difficult to make, one group says cases of self-immolation in the capital have doubled since last year.Cases are said to be reported every day in the western city of Herat.In Kabul, some 36 cases of self-immolation have been recorded this year.
'Act of frustration'
"These are young girls at their most productive ages," Ancil Adrian-Paul, a spokeswoman for NGO Medica Mondiale, told the BBC.
"These young girls are killing themselves from frustration and because they feel that there is no way out of them."
She said the choice of self-immolation may be influenced by the fact that many of the women sought shelter in Iran, where the practise is more common.
Campaigners say illiteracy and an incompetent justice system contribute to women deciding to take their own lives, because they can see no way out of their problems.
Women and girls are also often given away to settle conflicts in the country.
A recent Human Rights Watch report said many gains made by women since the fall of the Taleban have since been reversed.