Study reveals scale of female suicides in India

India in 2016 accounted for 17.8 percent of the global population but 36.6 percent of female suicides. (Shutterstock)
Updated 14 September 2018
0

Study reveals scale of female suicides in India

DELHI: Meenu, 25, tried to commit suicide three years ago when her husband tried to stop her from following her career and insisted that she focus on raising their first child.
She was saved by a timely intervention from her neighbor.
“I come from a small town in Kerala (a southern Indian state), and did a professional course for nursing to make a career. I couldn’t reconcile myself to being a fulltime housewife,” Meenu, who is a nurse in a local hospital, told Arab News.
This week, a study by the Lancet, a British health journal, revealed that the number of women committing suicide in India is the highest in the world, terming it a “public health crisis.”
India in 2016 accounted for 17.8 percent of the global population but 36.6 percent of female suicides, making it the “ninth leading cause of death” in the country that year, the Lancet said. Of the female suicides in India, 71.2 percent were in the age group 15-39 years.
“Married women account for the highest proportion of suicide deaths among women in India. 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 journal wrote.
Rakhi Dandona, professor of global health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, told Arab News: “The lower status of women in society, gender discrimination, different aspirations and different responsibilities are all factors responsible for female suicides in India.”
She said: “Domestic violence is the biggest factor. Among girls and women depression is more common, and suicide rates are higher in most of the southern Indian states, which are prosperous.”
Women’s rights activists and those working on gender equality say the study calls for action and cannot be ignored.
“This is very sobering data. We never realized the number was so high, especially for girls,” said Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the Population Foundation of India, a public health group.
Jameela Nishat, who runs the Shaheen Women Resource and Welfare Association, said: “Domestic violence is one of the major factors for suicide among women.”
She added: “Last month, a 25-year-old girl committed suicide because she couldn’t cope with the marital situation. Every month we get a case like this, and most of them are from middle-class families.”
Dandona said: “We need a national suicide-prevention plan. Only then will people start talking about suicide.”
She added: “We need to know why people get mental-health issues. This has to be a macro-level, multi-sectoral exercise.”


Pakistan summons US envoy to protest Trump’s Bin Laden remarks

Updated 40 min 11 sec ago
0

Pakistan summons US envoy to protest Trump’s Bin Laden remarks

  • ‘Of course, we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did’
  • ‘I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center’

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday summoned the US Chargé d’Affaires in Islamabad to protest against remarks made by President Donald Trump who has criticized Pakistan’s role in fighting terrorism fight and the capture of Osama bin Laden.
“The Foreign Secretary called in the US CdA Ambassador Paul Jones to register a strong protest on the unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations made against Pakistan,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
President Donald Trump repeated on Monday that Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, killed by US Navy SEALs in May 2011, should have been captured much earlier, casting blame on his predecessors and Pakistan.
“Of course, we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did,” the US president tweeted, echoing remarks he gave to “Fox News Sunday” that drew the ire of Pakistan, where bin Laden had been hiding.
“I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center,” he continued.
“President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!”
Ten years after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, bin Laden was found to be hiding in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, where he was killed in a raid by US Navy SEALs approved by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
The assault sent relations between the wayward allies to a new low.
In his interview on Sunday, the Republican leader had said he canceled assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan earlier this year because “they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”
Trump had also told Fox News that bin Laden had lived “beautifully in Pakistan and what I guess in what they considered a nice mansion. I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan hit back at Trump’s claim, calling on the president to name an ally that has sacrificed more against militancy.
“Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war & over $123 bn was lost to economy. US ‘aid’ was a minuscule $20 bn,” Khan tweeted.
Robert O’Neill, a former Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shots that killed bin Laden, was terse in his reply.
“The mission to get bin Laden was bipartisan. We all wanted to get him as soon as we could,” tweeted O’Neill, who regularly appears on Fox News as a security expert.
Former director of national intelligence James Clapper was more direct in his criticism of Trump.
“It’s really a slam at the intelligence community, who was responsible for tracking down Osama bin Laden, and reflects, I think, his complete ignorance about what that took,” Clapper told CNN.
Former CIA director John Brennan also hit back at Trump’s remark.
“You constantly remind us how substantively shallow & dishonest you are on so many fronts, which is why we are in such dangerous times,” he wrote on Twitter, quoting Trump’s tweet about bin Laden.