Approximately two in every five women in the world who commit suicide are Indian, according to a Lancet study published recently.
The United Kingdom's medical journal found that although the rate of female suicide in India has decreased - representing 36.6 per cent of global female suicide deaths - it hasn't fallen as fast as the rest of the world. The report also assessed that the females who commit suicide in India are more likely to be married, in their mid 30s and from more developed states.
Indian teen 'commits suicide' after girlfriend 'gang-raped'
“It shows girls in India are in serious trouble,” said Poonam Muttreja, the executive director of the Population Foundation of India, a public health group.
Muttreja and other specialists suggested the highly patriarchal culture of India, domestic violence and the trend of early marriage as the root causes of high suicide rate - which was three times higher than what might be predicted for a country with similar geography and socio-economic indicators.
“Our social norms are very regressive,” Muttreja said. “In the village, a girl is called her father’s daughter, then she is her husband’s wife, and when she has a son, she is her son’s mother.”
In a research carried out by her public health group, 62% of surveyed women believed it was appropriate for their husbands to beat them.
“The disproportionately high suicide deaths in India are a public health crisis,” the authors, who are mostly affiliated with Indian public health research groups, said.
India man 'desperate for son' throws daughter from terrace
About 25 per cent of male suicides around the world also occurred in India, roughly the same proportion as in 1990, the study said.
Adding to the public health crisis, suicide becomes the leading cause of death for young people in the country.
Since suicide had been decriminalised, it is possible that the rate could be much higher than reported by families or doctors in fear of disgrace or to avoid police interference, the report said.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ