India’s sui­cide cri­sis

Weekend Herald - - World -

Nearly 37 per cent of women who kill them­selves glob­ally come from India, ac­cord­ing to a re­port that sug­gests ar­ranged mar­riages and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence are among con­tribut­ing fac­tors. The study in The Lancet said that, be­tween 1990 and 2016, 36.6 per cent of global sui­cides among women and 24 per cent among men oc­curred in India, con­sti­tut­ing a pub­lic health cri­sis. It found that mar­ried women aged 15 to 39 ac­counted for the high­est pro­por­tion of sui­cides, across lines of re­li­gion, ge­og­ra­phy, so­cial class and age. It stated: “Mar­riage is known to be less pro­tec­tive against sui­cide for women be­cause of ar­ranged and early mar­riage, young moth­er­hood, low so­cial sta­tus, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and eco­nomic de­pen­dence.” The re­port warned that a dan­ger­ous level of ig­no­rance and stig­ma­ti­sa­tion, fam­ily pres­sures, ca­reer, cash wor­ries and on­line com­mu­ni­ties were putting a whole gen­er­a­tion of In­di­ans at risk. “Lack of ac­cess to men­tal health fa­cil­i­ties for women could be a fac­tor,” said Rakhi Dan­dona, of the Pub­lic Health Foun­da­tion of India.

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