India’s young women face a serious suicide crisis. NCRB reports a rise from 12.7 to 17.5 per 1,00,000 (2011 to 2021), with one woman aged 15-39 ending her life every hour. This highlights a dire need for protection.
- Relative Deprivation: Despite advances in education and empowerment, stigma persist creating conflicts for young women (Status inconsistency). This tension is evident more in South India, where modern perspectives clash with traditional norms [Lancet (2018)].
- Changing Family Dynamics: Globalization has led to shifts in relationship dynamics, contributing to feelings of isolation among young women. The decline in joint families leaves housewives more vulnerable to mental health issues.
- Patriarchal Structure: Gender discrimination limits education, healthcare, nutrition. Marriage pressure stigmatizes unmarried women. Married women (Early Marriage) endure violence, deepening gender bias and despair.
- Limited economic Opportunities: results in lack of independence (glass ceiling) and contributes to pessimism and self-doubt.
- Mental Health Issues: Unrealistic standards(beauty) and excessive burden due to dual role performed by women worsen the situation.
- Sexual Violence: A high incidence of sexual violence, coupled with victim-blaming and stigma, exacerbates psychological distress.
- Technology and Social Media: Excessive use fuels depression and cyberbullying.
All these factors could lead to a lot of stress and therefore lead to death by suicide.
Effective solutions require focus on care economy, legislation against martial rape, one stop Centres to support mental health along with eradicating gender discrimination, violence and promoting education and employment.