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November-07-00

Women’s Suicide Rate In Turkey Soar Due To Patriarchal Customs

According to a New York Times report, death is a way out for many young oppressed Turkish women with no resources and no educational opportunities. Trapped in her home, forbidden to leave, find a job or go to school, a 22-year old women jumped to her death after being beaten by her parents and another relative for wearing a tight skirt. This is all too common a story in Turkey. Largely due to constant oppression such as this, Turkish women in the southeast choose death over life, resulting in a suicide rate double the rest of Turkey. Nearly half of the women in southeastern Turkey are illiterate, mostly because their families refuse to permit schooling for girls.

Worldwide, the suicide rate among women is high in conservative and repressive societies, stated Radhika Coomaraswamy, United Nations special rapporteur on violence against women. This is also evident in Afghanistan where the extremist Taliban regime seized power in 1996, enforcing a strict system of gender apartheid that stripped women of their freedom of movement, right to work and right to education. In September 1999, the Special Rapporteur On Violence Against Women, made a fact finding mission to Pakistan and Afghanistan and reported, “the high rates of depression indicate the health fall-out of these (Taliban) policies.” A study released by Physicians for Human Rights, titled “The Taliban’s War on Women”, found that a startling 97 percent of Afghan women living in the capitol city of Kabul exhibited signs of major depression.

Media Resources: New York Times 3 November 2000, Associated Press 4 November 2000, Feminist Global News Wire, Physicians For Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur On Violence Against Women

   

     

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