Since 2008, HumaniTerra has been leading a prevention campaign against the self-immolation of young women in Western Afghanistan. HumaniTerra selected two local partners, Voice of Women Organization (VOW) and Women Life Care (WLC) to successfully carry out these actions. They are responsible for raising awareness and identifying families and women at risk in order to direct them to appropriate centres.
Within the scope of this prevention campaign, HumaniTerra was in charge of leading actions intended to raise awareness, such as public showings of documentary films and debates that were organized by its partner organization Voice of Women Organization under the supervision of the HumaniTerra delegation in Herat.
The first phase of the campaign took place from 2008-2009, and touched more than 20,000 people. The result was a remarkable decrease in the number of young women admitted to the Herat Pilot Burn Centre for self-immolation. Thanks to this success, the campaign continued until January 2012.
To mark the end of the last phase of this prevention campaign, HumaniTerra took stock of its very positive results: in particular an 80% drop in cases of suicide by self-immolation at the Herat Hospital in four years. (In 2010-2011, 147 cases of suicide by self-immolation were recorded, compared to 350 cases solely in 2007 prior to the first phase of the campaign.)
These results are the fruit of an active awareness campaign: during the campaign phase in 2011-2012, seven video and audio segments were created and broadcast on local television and radio stations for six months. The Voice of Women Organization organized meetings and projections followed by debates in the hospitals and communities of the Herat, Ghor and Bagdhi Provinces, reaching more than 13,000 participants.
A sociological investigation was also implemented by an Afghan operator under HumaniTerra’s supervision. Women Life Care survey team members interviewed more than 1,300 Afghan households, in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of Herat. The results of this survey are being studied by a French sociologist and will be sent to all of our Afghan partners.
Partners: Voice of Women (VWO), Women Life Care Organization (WLC), French Development Agency, UNICEF, Fondation Pinault Printemps la Redoute, Éditions Grasset.