Girl In Afghanistan, self-portrait, Winter 2009

Stephanie Sinclair, Marzia, age fifteen, has her burns cleaned at the Herat Public Hospital in Afghanistan. Terrified at the prospect of her husband’s wrath after she short-circuited the television he had been saving for, she set fire to herself. Although no statistics are kept on female self-immolation, staff at the hospital estimate that they treated between three hundred and four hundred women with self-inflicted burns between November 2001 and February 2003. These suicide attempts are generally carried out with kerosene used for cookers. Medical officers say that there were almost no similar cases under the Taliban regime, and some attribute the increase to a growing frustration as Western culture infiltrates Afghanistan, yet the position of women in Afghan society remains much the same. (Photograph courtesy Corbis, for Marie Claire)


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One thought on “Girl In Afghanistan, self-portrait, Winter 2009

  1. How poignant. These human tragedies are heartbreaking and disturbing. The kind of culture that would drive someone to this is the kind that cannot be sustained. Free the humans now!

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