SULEYMANIA : Suicide in Women Shelter

By Wadi Iraq – A woman in the Suleymania women’s shelter committed suicide by burning herself on 29th December 2013.  This caused a fire in the shelter and two more women living in the shelter were injured by the fire.This shelter meant to protect women who are victims of domestic violence was opened by WADI in 1999. In 2002, responsibility was taken over by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Since then WADI has been monitoring the conditions in this and other women’s shelters which are now operated by the government in Kurdistan. Conditions have been constantly deteriorating since the government took over responsibility starting from the poor state of facilities to a lack of counseling.
In 2010, WADI published a report about the conditions of women shelters and suggested many recommendations to the government and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs but to avail.
This accident is a result of this neglect. According to law number 8 for combating violence against women, every woman should have access to a shelter for protection. The prime minister mentioned in his speech only on 25th November that shelters are available.
However, we see in reality that they don’t serve their purpose. We feel sorry for the life of this victim and we wish other women to recover soon and hope that this accident fastens the process of reform in women shelters in Kurdistan.
On 30th December WADI Iraq published a press statement in Kurdish which was published on Awene’s homepage and many other local channels.