A 20-year-old woman died of suicide on Thursday, November 10 in Bamyan province. Her death came after she and her boyfriend were arrested by the Taliban, sources tell Zan Times. “The woman’s name was Hajar, and she hanged herself with a rope on Thursday afternoon and died,” a source who asked not to be named tells Zan Times. The woman was from Siahkhak village in Dar-e-Foladi district in the centre of the province.
The reason for the woman deciding to take her own life appears linked to a recent encounter with the Taliban. “Several days ago, the Taliban arrested Hajar and her boyfriend while they were talking,” another source tells Zan Times. “They released the woman after threatening her, but her boyfriend is still in custody,”
According to him, the Taliban threatened Hajar not to talk to anyone about this matter. “After her boyfriend’s family was informed about her arrest, she hanged herself,” he adds. The families of both man and woman refused to talk publicly.
The Taliban in Bamyan confirmed the young woman’s death by suicide and attributed it to family problems and mental health issues.
The suicide rate for women has skyrocketed since the Taliban regained power and imposed restrictions on women’s ability to work and take part in society. Women need to be accompanied by a close male relative to do everyday tasks, such as buying food or going for a walk. Their situation is so desperate that the United Nations estimates at least one or two women die by suicide every day in Afghanistan.
In just past three months, Zan Times has published reports of at least seven women dying by suicide in provinces across Afghanistan. The reasons for these suicides include the Taliban’s restrictions on women, their deprivation of education and work, forced marriages, domestic violence, and issues of mental health.
In its resolution on Thursday, November 10, the UN General Assembly called on the Taliban to respect the rights of women, girls and minorities, and to change the policies and actions that limit the fundamental rights and freedoms of women and girls.