New Delhi: Married women account for the highest number of suicides among women in India, according to a new study published in The Lancet Public Health. Almost four in every 10 women who commit suicide in the world hail from India, the study says.
The findings are part of a paper titled, 'Gender differentials and state variations in suicide deaths in India: The Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2016.'
The study explains, “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 study also explains the need for further assessment of the “complex relationships between gender and suicidal behaviour to facilitate women-specific suicide prevention strategies.”
The paper warns of a looming public health crisis and says, “Young adults are taking their own lives in alarmingly high numbers, constituting a public health crisis. Suicide ranks first as the cause of death in India in both the age groups of 15-29 years and 15-39 years, as compared with its second and third rank globally in these age groups, respectively.”
“A national suicide prevention strategy is needed as a guide, which then has to be adapted at the state level to take into account the wide variations in trends between the states and the context of each state to reduce the burden of suicide deaths in India,” it adds.
The overwhelming link between marriage and suicide is not new. Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), for instance, says that 15 per cent of all suicides in India are committed by married women. So, in 2014, when there were 1,13,666 suicides across the country, six married women committed suicide every day, on an average.