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The “Shawl”…the first tool for girls’ suicide in Iraq

In the latest statistics on the number of suicides, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior said that the country recorded 772 suicides last year, which is about 100 cases more than 2020, while that statistic indicates that the age groups under 20 years old were 36.6 percent, while the proportion of males constitutes 55.9 percent, and females 44.8 percent.

The figures also reveal that the southern governorates are the most registered of these cases (Basra and Dhi Qar governorates have the highest percentage in Iraq).

And if the males usually commit suicide by shooting themselves, due to the chaos of weapons in Iraq, the females, most of whom are girls, resort to the head covering, which is popularly known as the “shawl”.

The shawl is a piece of cloth one and a half meters long and half a meter wide, and it is the prevalent headscarf in Iraq in addition to what is known as the “tie.” Some girls also use the so-called “princess veil.”

This cover is sold in local markets at a price starting at two dollars, and is imported from Turkey, Iran and other countries.

10 cases last month

An officer in the Iraqi Ministry of Interior said that during the past month, the country witnessed more than 10 suicide cases in this way, and these are recorded only, while the unregistered are more than that, noting that “the reasons for resorting to this act are multiple, and require the intervention of several non-governmental agencies.” Just”.

The officer, who requested that his name be withheld, added to the “Sky News Arabia” website, that “women, especially girls, resort to suicide in this way, due to their often inability to use weapons, and the availability of the head covering, which is part of the daily dress, and they cannot be prevented from using it or wearing it from before their parents.

He points out that “there is a plan developed last year by the Ministry of Interior to confront these cases, which began to escalate during the last period.”

Multiple motives

And on Thursday, a university student committed suicide using a “shawl”, by hanging herself from a ceiling fan inside her home in Dhi Qar Governorate, southern Iraq.

A security source said that “a young woman, born in 1997, a university student in the College of Education, committed suicide by using a headscarf (shawl), by attaching it to a ceiling fan inside her house in Nasiriyah, the governorate center,” according to the local “Nas News” website.

The competent authorities were also able to thwart a suicide attempt of a girl in the same governorate last week, when she tied herself to a shawl to the roof of the house, while the Qalaat Sukkar district in Dhi Qar also recorded the suicide of a 15-year-old girl in the same way, in mysterious circumstances.

Iraqi official statistics indicate that the motives for suicide are often related to psychological pressure and unrest, and other reasons related to disintegration, family violence, the deteriorating economic situation, as well as academic reasons and the lack of ambition.

Feminist activist Mona Al-Amiri saw that “girls commit suicide because of social pressures and discrimination in some joints, such as appointments and public jobs, and social discrimination, especially in tribal societies, which makes the girl lose her ambition and hope in life, and thus resort to that ugly way of death. “.

Al-Amiri added to the “Sky News Arabia” website, “The use of the shawl in the suicide process gives a clear picture of the reality of these girls, in terms of poverty, poor education and the pressure on them.”

She stressed, “the need to advance the status of women in Iraq, who suffers from a number of challenges, and the biggest proof of this is the suicides that we hear about daily.”

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