Parvin Bakhtiarnejad is an Iranian journalist, researcher, writer, and esteemed women’s rights activist. In the first lesson of this webinar series on female self-immolation in Iran, Ms. Bakhtiarnejad examines the main causes of this phenomenon and shares her field research on the topic. Female self-immolation is prevalent in various provinces in Iran, with Ilam Province suffering the highest rate. Family problems, poverty, and migration are among the main causes of self-immolation. People living in these areas have been struggling with poverty for years, especially in the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war. Nearly three decades later, these regions have yet to be fully reconstructed. The number of jobs available in Ilam Province is low, and youth face poverty and unemployment. However, the effects of war are not limited to economics. Depression continues to plague society as well. Discrimination against women and forced marriages restrict women’s rights. On the one hand, women have become more aware of their individual and social rights, refusing to remain silent in the face of domestic violence. When they realize that the situation will not change, however, they turn to self-immolation - the most painful of all forms of suicide.