Female suicide rate rises in Iranian Kurdistan

Doznews – 28-11-2013 – Suicide rate among Kurdish Iranians has increased throughout this year, particularly among young girls who struggle with traditional and religious practices.

Mahmoud Khudadost, head of the Iranian forensic science research center, has told Iranian media that last year 3,640 Iranians committed suicide across Iran, with a majority of them coming from Iranian Kurdistan.

Within that number, 2,530 of them were men and 1,110 of them were women.

Khudadost explained that most of the girls who turn to suicide or burn themselves are victims of rape. There are also cases in which the victims of rape have been killed, and the death is made to look like suicide.

The most famous case in Kurdistan was that  of  a university student from Mariwan, a Kurdish city near the Iraqi border, who was raped and killed by a group of men in her hostel room. Following the murder, Iranian media reported the event as an act of suicide. Ultimately, an Iranian newspaper revealed the true cause of death, which was murder and not suicide.

There aren’t any official figures that certify the number of female suicide cases in Iranian Kurdistan, but unofficial statistics suggest that up to fifty Kurdish women committed suicide in 2012, the majority from the cities of Mariwan, Sanandaj and Urmia. “When men from this region feel threatened or believe their woman is out of line, they sometimes pressure them and force them to commit suicide,” said Shahen Muhammad, member of Mariwan Women’s Council.