July 4, 2013

Burning for justice

Why are so many Kurdish women setting themselves on fire?

A Kurd woman stands at the door of her house in Kirkuk, Iraq. (Getty Images/Marco Di Lauro)

Just how bad do things have to be for someone to set themself on fire? In the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq, doctors say as many as five women a day commit suicide by self-immolation. For the few who survive, they are afraid to admit what they have done as they face shame and punishment from their community. We find out what is behind these self-immolations and how women can be heard without taking such drastic measures.

In this episode of The Stream we speak to: 

Dr. Pary Karadaghi @KHRWorg
Executive director, Kurdish Human Rights Watch

Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar @RuwaydaMustafah
Kurdish youth activist/blogger

Tara Fatehi @tarafatehi
Kurdish researcher
Kawa Morad 
PhD researcher, Center for Kurdish Studies at the University of Exeter

Kawyar Omer
Student at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

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