Hopelessness Fuels Suicides In Afghanistan
What if you were told that you could only go to school through the sixth grade, you could not leave your home without a male escort, you could not choose your own mate to marry because only your parents could do that, and that your future dreams and aspirations were hopeless? That is the future every Muslim girl and woman faces under the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. The result of that hopelessness leads to a staggering suicide rate among women in the country. The seemingly last straw that broke the camel’s back was the recent decree by the Taliban – banning beauty salons. They have long been a place where women could gather, visit, and be away from the always watchful eyes of the Taliban.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, there has been stark surge in the number of women taking their own lives or attempting to do so. The Taliban has carefully guarded their statistics about suicides because of what they show: far more women than men commit suicide in the country. That data is the opposite of the general world-wide data that shows more men than women commit suicide. UN officials and human rights activists have made public the startling revelation that more women than men commit suicide in hopes that some kind of intervention can bring hope and relief for women. One authority said, “Afghanistan is in the midst of a mental health crisis precipitated by a women’s rights crisis. We are witnessing a moment where growing numbers of women and girls see death as preferable to living under the current circumstances.”