In the past few days, four women and two men committed suicide by various methods including self-immolation, taking pills and hanging. These suicide cases were reported in the northwestern province of Western Azerbaijan.
Western towns in Iran have seen a rise in the rate of suicides though in general, suicide cases have increased in Iran in the past 10 years. Many link this to Iranians overall grave mental health.
According to new figures released by Iran’s Ministry of Health, 21 million Iranians suffer from mental disorders which means that one in four Iranians are affected.
According to the recent statistics, 23.4% of adults in Iran have experienced a psychiatric disorder over the past year, of which 27.6% are women and 19.4% are men. Depression also accounts for about a third of mental illnesses, according to the report.
Suicides among children as young as 14 is also an emerging phenomenon in Iran. Reports show that Iran ranks third in suicide rates among predominantly Islamic countries.
The failure of the Iranian regime in bringing about social, cultural, economic and political progress in the past 40 years has led to depression and disillusionment among the society. Young people, educated Iranians, and women are among the most prone to suicide attempts due to their lack of hope in their future and increasing social and economic pressures.
Self-immolation as a method of suicide is carried out mostly among women in provinces like Ilam, Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, East and West Azarbaijan, Golestan and Bushehr. Reports show that women in Ilam carry out self-immolation more than others, to the extent that it has turned into a “dominant culture” in the region.
Iranian women have a higher level of awareness compared to other women in the region, but since they are faced with legal and social barriers, their awareness does not lead to a change in the society, rather, it becomes a tool for further suffering. One of the reasons for the rate of suicides is women’s protest to forced marriages, child marriages or polygamy, backward traditions that the Islamic Republic of Iran forces on women under the name of religion.