Suspicious deaths, murders and suicides of women have run high in South Kurdistan, an absolute male dominant territory which doesn’t punish violence against women.
The Committee for Struggle against Violence on Women has reported that 1,012 women have set themselves alight themselves in the last three years in South Kurdistan where women live under the threat of slaughter.
As well as traditional violence and pressure, the government also has a role in the continuous increase in the number of women killings which have reached a threatening point owing to increasing men violence and domestic repression during the recent years.
The data published by the Committee reveal that social works and legal arrangements concerning the matter remained inconclusive in the region which –the statement underlined- needed a strong political will to deal with the problem.
Following some campaigns launched in 2008 in South Kurdistan to prevent crimes against women, the Kurdish government announced that some measures had been taken regarding the matter and at the utmost exposed photographs of some violence perpetrators. However, no progress was recorded relevant to the issue as the government neither took deterrent legal precautions nor put the laws in effect into practice.
In a statement in April 2009, the Ministry of Human Rights in Federal Region of Kurdistan reported that 170 women had fallen victim to “honor killing” in 2008 and 333 had committed suicide by burning themselves due to exposure to violence.
According to the figures reflected to the media, 289 women committed a suicide in Hewler in 2005, while this number rose to 533 in 2006. From January to March of 2007, 40 cases of honor killing were submitted to the UN from the cities of Hewler, Dohuk, Suleymania and Salahaddin in South Kurdistan. Deaths were recorded on informal records as “killed for dishonor”.
On the other hand, 831 women in South Kurdistan set themselves on fire in 2009 as a result of pressure and violence they were subjected to. Among them, 200 lost their life, say the reports of the Forensic Medicine Institute in Suleymania.
The statement by Barzan Eli, President of the Forensic Medicine, notified that 289 women had lost their life in the first seven months of 2010. Eli explained the reason for most of these deaths as suicide, murder or accident.
As to the numbers in 2011, the statement made in July 2011 remarked that 48 women had been killed, 207 women set themself on fire, 671 had been subjected to heavy violence and 63 had been harassed in the first six months of the year. Statics also show that the highest rate of woman killings is seen in Hewler city.
While officially two thousand 664 women between the ages of 12 and 22 ended their lives by burning themselves in Suleymania, Hewler and Dohuk cities from 1991 to 2007, the real figures are thought and said to be much higher and threatening.
ANF / HEWLER/SÜLEYMANIYA