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November 14, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A three-day conference to discuss self-immolation among women opens today in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
The aim of the gathering is to come up with a comprehensive strategy to address self-immolation. The conference has been organized by Medica Mondiale, a German rights organization that focuses on violence against women.
Medica Mondiale's Ancil Adrian-Paul told RFE/RL the group recently conducted a survey in the three Afghan provinces of Kabul, Herat, and Wardak.
"The research that we did is actually qualitative, not quantitative," Adrian-Paul said. "But we managed to get some figures that, I think, are quite sad. We found out that self-immolation and suicide [are] prevalent not only in the provinces that we looked at, but also in 14 other provinces. For example Jalalabad, Logar, Badakhshan, Kandahar, [and others]. So [self-immolation exists] on quite [a] significant [scale] in the country."
Participants in today's conference include representatives from Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, India, and Sri Lanka.