"Nine Months Pregnant"
Mariam, 20-years-old and 9 months pregnant, shows the scars on her belly from self-immolation inflicted 3 months ago when she was devastated by an abusive, violent marriage October 21, 2004 in Herat, Afghanistan. She poured household fuel on herself and spent 28 days in the hospital. She now lives with her mother and her husband is moving back in with her and her 2 year old daughter. The medical staff says that they have registered over 80 self-immolations in the first seven months of this year. The problems facing women in Afghanistan are complex and are closely linked to their subordinate position in the Afghan society where conservative Islamic laws and traditions dictate what a woman is allowed to do in a male dominated world. Forced marriages, domestic violence, poverty and lack of access to education are several reasons for suicide.