Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Silent Killer of Women — Suicide

There is an epidemic silent killer of women and girls in the developing world that nobody is talking about and it’s not malaria, HIV, or childbirth. The leading killer of girls and women of childbearing age (15-49) in countries like India and Nepal is, actually, suicide. A 2013 British Medical Journal analysis estimates a 126 percent rise in suicide among women between 1990 and 2010.

I am a witness to effect of suicide on the young women in my community, which is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is a difficult and sensitive issue for me to talk about, but I feel like I don’t have a choice.

Suicide became personal to me last November when I lost one of my 13-year-old students, Manisha. School was out of session. It was the harvest season and our valley was covered in an endless green bed of rolling rice paddies. A few of my little girls were on their way to soccer practice and stopped by to pick up Manisha along the way. They kicked open the door to her small one room hut and found her hanging. I have wished thousands of times that my girls had all just made it to practice that afternoon. Manisha, a victim of extreme poverty, had overcome so much in her young years: the loss of both of her parents by five, and three years of playing catch-up after her late enrollment into primary school. If she were still alive I’d tell her that things will get better. Even in the most hopeless, desperate times, things always get better. I’d promise her that no matter what, I’d fight for her.

By MAGGIE DOYNE

New York Time

March 6,2014

No comments: