Chitral — The recent case of a teen age girl drowning herself in the river in Koghuzi village of Chitral has again highlighted the high rate of suicides in Chitral district, specially among young female gender?group. This phenomenon is going on for a long time but has been largely ignored and needs thorough research and scientific investigation to ascertain the causes and find remedial measures for it.
One factor that is acknowledged by all is the fact that girls reaching adolescence have not much space to live their lives express themselves and show their self worth. Parents are all the time worrying about their marriage (getting rid of them) and in this obsession many girls are wed off post-haste to unsuitable matches which often?end up in tragic eventualities like act of suicide by the girl.
Girls only have the opening of going out of the house to school/college/madrassa or hospital as an outing and houses are getting smaller and more and more cramped up. They can’t shop in the bazaars, they can’t eat outside, there are no sports activities or ?outings/picnics etc for girls. All these are considered taboo in the Chitrali society. Only watching TV and witnessing the outside world on screen while themselves unable to be part of the world frustrates them and causes extreme reactions.
More facilities for women folk in the form of communal, vocational/recreational centers need to be set up?and women folk encouraged to project themselves as active and useful part of the society instead of a burden as they largely feel now.?Such steps will definitely change the defeatist mindset of the female population. Directing the?efforts of all NGOs working in Chitral, towards improving the condition of women folk can be a fair beginning in this direction.— CN report, 10 Nov 2016
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9 thoughts on “High Female suicide rate in Chitral needs investigation”
The core issue and its ultimate possible solution is explained above in brief. It is worth mentioning we are committing a big sin while avoiding small sins. So we should change our thinking individually as we are living in 21st century.
I am so glad that Chitral News has raised this very important issue. The level of female education in Chitral is higher than male education. In fact it is one of the highest in Pakistan. This makes the case of increasing suicide rates among our female population even sadder. Perhaps the frustration of not finding suitable jobs among the large un-employed women here could also be a contributory factor. Chitral News is right in asking all NGO’s working in Chitral to take up this matter with the seriousness it deserves.
Whatever steps are taken for betterment of female population in Chitral, my request is that please keep them away from politics. Otherwise their condition will go from bad to worse. I see blooming young boys wasting themselves as political workers. This should not happen to our girls. There are so many healthy and productive ways in which women folk can be kept busy, but never politics.This is for their own sake, please.
Today, after reading the news report about women suicide, I went for Jumma prayers. The Molana sahib was sermoning about the sin of women coming out of the house. I kept thinking during the sermon that if there is no sin on women going out to markets for shopping in Mecca and Madina, how is it a sin in Chitral?
After reading the news I will need to thank Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) for its intervention in Garamchashma with the financial assistance of Plan International Pakistan for the empowerment of female adolescents. It was a time we also witnessed suicides in our area but the ratio has decreased due to the intervention and knowledge imparted by AKRSP through Adolescent Friendly Centers where different scholars gave training to the adolescents. Adolescents were trained and they had good counselling of life.
I will again extend my warm thanks to AKRSP for introducing Malik Saad Memorial Sport Trust to Chitral where AKRSP with the collaboration of MSMST is arranging different events for youth. Even the establishment of Sports and Recreation Center for female in Izh, is worth mentioning because it is providing recreational activities for the females from every sphere of life in Garamchashma.
After keeping this all in mind and on behalf of Chitrali community I will again request AKRSP to plan some more activities like Adolescent Friendly Center (AFC’s) for the youth so that the awareness level can be increased to overcome all evils present in our society.
The gentleman commentator seems to be head over heels praising AKRSP. Can we hear more evidences of AKRSP working to reduce women suicides etc and it’s results, or is it just one of those!?
I would request you to conduct simple research and I am sure you will find evidences of good work of AKRSP. I have never been employee of AKRSP nor have I any affiliation with AKRSP but being a student of research I felt it my duty to appreciate the good work done.
As an expat Chitrali this phenomenon was very disturbing for me to find out while visiting the area. There are so many factors involved.
The learned author and commentators have rightly pointed out some of the reasons why young girls end up committing suicide to end their lives. I would also like to add to the discussion by sharing a few more reasons behind this critical issue:
1. Although education level has increased in both male and female folks in Chitral, the gender-based discrimination still continues. Parents, even though qualified enough, still have different attitude towards daughters, maybe for all good intentions, but such attitude is seen as discrimination against the daughters. For example, boys have all the freedom to have a mobile phone, motor bike or car, dress the way they want, go out and enjoy excursions, tours, sports, music and fashion etc. but girls cannot even visit their relatives and friends without prior permission from parents / elders. Even the level of interaction, communication, openness, and friendliness between parents, particularly fathers, and daughters is quite limited, creating a distance between the daughter and father / male elders. Such a distance inhibits daughters to talk openly and frankly with their parents / fathers. It is very important that parents, particularly fathers and male elders in the family treat all children equally regardless of their gender; they should be very open and frank with all children and encourage them, particularly daughters, not to fear for expressing their thoughts, issues, desires, and likes and dislikes to their parents and elders. As a parent if you buy a motor bike for your son, you should also ask what your daughter would like to have or at least get her something that she does not feel discriminated;
2. With education, technology, and increasing awareness, children are becoming more sensitive about their self-esteem and worth than was the case a few decades ago. In the past, many parents and elders would beat their children with stick and shoes and would say all bad things to them and the children would cry for a while and ignore it as if nothing had happened, but today’s children are different; they, particularly girls, take every rude behaviours of their parents to their heart and feel bad about it. Therefore it is important for parents and elders to counsel their children and advise them in a manner that does not hurt their feelings and self-esteem. Certainly, parents and elders have the right to be angry with their children but the expression that anger can be done in so many ways–some ways are more appropriate than others and parents need to choose the appropriate ones;
3. Another thing that parents need to do is to involve children in family decisions, be it about food or dress or building a house or any other decision. Even if the parents would be making the decision, it is important to involve the children in the discussion and make them feel important and included.