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India had one of the highest female suicide rates in the world in 2016.

Women in India accounted for 36% of global female suicide deaths in 2016, despite making up less than 18% of the world’s female population.

Women in India accounted for 36% of global female suicide deaths in 2016, despite making up less than 18% of the world’s female population.A study published in the October 2018 issue of The Lancet Public Health reveals that in 2016 women in India accounted for more than 36 percent of female suicide deaths globally, despite making up less than 18 percent of the world’s female population. Suicide is India’s leading cause of death among women ages 15 to 29, and rates for young and middle-aged women rank the highest among countries with similar demographics. Indian women make up nearly 37 percent of global female suicide deaths, it said.

Science Magazine Scientific American citing data from the Global Health Data Exchange, a database that tracks worldwide health trends and demographics, stated that India has the highest suicide rate among young and middle-aged women for countries with similar sociodemographics.

One of the authors of the study Rakhi Dandona, a professor of global health at the Public Health Foundation of India and the University of Washington, attributed a clash between women’s aspirations and the rigidity of their social environment for the prevalence of suicide among women in India.

Vikram Patel, a professor in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who was not involved in The Lancet's study, said in the December 2018 issue of Scientific American, “Deaths that occur due to suicide are also a product of the method that is used.” He noted that women in the West attempt suicide more often than men, but men tend to use more lethal means such as firearms, resulting in more deaths. In India, he said, men and women both use more fatal methods.

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