For Afghan Women, Bride Burning Is A Fact of Life

Today’s New York Times has a feature on bride burning in Afghanistan. We’ve previously written on bride burning in India. Reading the NYT article, there’s nothing for us to say. The lives of these women are a psychological, sociological, physical prison for women that a Western woman can’t comprehend.

In Afghanistan some women are burned by family members.

“Violence in the lives of Afghanistan’s women comes from everywhere: from her father or brother, from her husband, from her father-in-law, from her mother-in-law and sister-in-law,” said Dr. Shafiqa Eanin, a plastic surgeon at the burn hospital, which usually has at least 10 female self-immolation cases at any one time.

Doctors interviewed cite two recent cases in which women were beaten, lost consciousness and were shoved in an oven or set on fire.

For women using kerosene to set themselves on fire, women mistakenly think their death will be instant. The idea that they will live, or suffer for weeks before dying isn’t part of their decision-making process.

The tribal-based misogyny of some Afghan men towards women is beyond our understanding.  Misogynistic attitudes are found every where in the world, but the degree of desperation among these Afghan women is a reality most of us can’t fathom.

More Reading:

Bride Burning & Violence Aagainst Women in Kerela, India