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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Female self-immolation and the Muslim culture

Elizabeth A. Campbell, PhD, MSN, School of Nursing, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Avenue, Topeka, KS 66621-1117, 785-670-1212, dr4globalhealth@yahoo.com

Self-immolation, or deliberate self-burning, among Muslim women in parts of the Middle East and Central Asia increasingly is becoming a cause of death and disability. However, very little is know about this phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to examine the motivation of Uzbek women who committed acts of self-immolation and survived. The study examined the role of the Islamic religion and culture, whether the act of self-immolation was a suicide attempt or an act of protest, and whether the use of fire had some symbolic significance. A descriptive, qualitative bounded case study was done in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The sample for this study included nine women who had survived acts of self-immolation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the assistance of a translator. These interviews were audiotaped and the English responses were transcribed. The data was analyzed both manually and using the qualitative data analysis software program QDAMiner, for thematic categories and code words. The results of the study found that all women interviewed were attempting suicide when they set themselves on fire and the use of fire had no symbolic significance, but was a convenient method. The findings of this study suggest that the religion and culture of Islam cannot be assumed to be contributing factors to female self-immolation. Domestic abuse and harsh lifestyles of the rural village culture were the main motivating factors in self-immolation among the women interviewed.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Women's Health, Domestic Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Mental Health, Women's Rights, and Overlooked Populations

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA