Alarming: In Chitral, forced marriages force women to take their lives in 2010-11

30 is the number of women who committed suicide in 2010-11 in Chitral.

Our Correspondent April 06, 2012


The number of women who committed suicide in Chitral in 2010-11 has risen alarmingly in the history, stated a report released by a local non-governmental organisation. 

Of the 30 women who ended their lives in the past two years, only 18 cases were reported to the police, while five women attempted suicide during this period, according to the Human Rights Programme Chitral (HRPC).

Three incidents of abduction were also reported in 2010-11, which is likewise unprecedented in the district.

The number of incidents of suicide committed by men reported to the police were also low. Of the 13 men who took their own lives in 2010-11 was only six.

The actual number of women who were killed or who committed suicide was much higher, but most of these incidents were missed by the police and journalists, because families attempt to conceal the actual cause of death, according to HRPC Chairperson Niaz A Niazi.

Women are forced to end their lives when they see no way out of their miseries, he said.

There is no formal system through which women can register their complaints in Chitral district.

A large majority of women had committed suicide because they were forced to marry against their will or were subjected to sexual abuse and blackmail, he said.

“Women dare not disclose their concerns to their families.” The fact that there are no women’s police stations or shelter homes in the entire Chitral district which compounds problems for women in distress, he added.

Niazi has called upon the police to thoroughly investigate each incident of murder or suicide to prevent families from passing off murders of women as suicide in an attempt to protect their ‘honour’.

HRPC is working for human rights in the backward Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa which also provides legal aid to victims.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2012.


Ismail Sloan | 9 years ago | Reply

Frankly, I am not that disturbed by this because 30 suicides in two years in a population of 300,000 is well below the world average of 14 suicides per year per hundred thousand. Chitral has the same problem as San Francisco California USA, in that there is an easy way to commit suicide. Just jump in the river. Few survive it. In San Francisco, 25 people per year commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 there have been at least 1,400 suicides.

On the other hand, Chitral does not have alcohol, poisons or pills or high buildings to jump from, so unless you have a gun, which few women have, it is rather difficult to kill yourself in Chitral, unless you jump in the river.

What is disturbing is that more women kill themselves than men. World wide at least three times more men kill themselves than women. So there much be something wrong with these statistics.

The City of Delhi, India alone reported 350 cases of bride burning/suicide per year, so the rate there is much higher.

Fardad Ali Shah Noor Alim | 9 years ago | Reply

I think the HRCP should start educating females and males both to encounter situations happening to them. Every problem has solution.... and people should think positively.

Every time there is not suicide but some thing else is also happening so it should be investigated by the law enforcing agencies at their level best. and if any person found guilty should be given examplary punishment to overcome such situations in future....

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