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Suicide Rampant Among China’s Rural Women, City High-Flyers

Posted by Author on September 5, 2006

Radio Free Asia, 2006.08.30-

HONG KONG—Chinese women are committing suicide at an alarming rate, especially in rural areas left out of the country’s economic boom. But experts say economic success is also taking its toll in the form of growing numbers of suicides among the urban middle classes.

Recent studies of depression and suicide in China have revealed a unique social pattern: China is the only country in which the suicide rate for females is higher than for males.

“I believe that the high suicide rate among Chinese women has to do with the low status of women throughout Chinese society,” counselling psychologist Zhan Chuhua told a recent Investigative Report series on mental health.

Women face major hurdles

“Often Chinese women lack resources to support them, so that when they run into problems, especially in their marriages, it is easy for them to become victims,” said Zhan, who has worked on the Kangning Mental Health Hotline in the southern city of Guangzhou for many years.

“In the workplace too, it is far more difficult for women than it is for men. For example, if a working woman gets pregnant, she will find it very difficult. And the likelihood of being on the receiving end of harassment is much higher for a woman. So all of this adds to the difficulties in the life of a Chinese woman, so that’s probably why the suicide rate is higher,” he added.

Around 90 percent of Chinese women who end their own lives live in the countryside, where poverty is ubiquitous, in stark contrast to the booming urban regions along China’s coast.

As the population continues to rise, suicides of Chinese women now make up half the world total of female suicides. A high proportion of these suicides are among young women, in the 16-26 age range. (to be cont’d…)

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2 Responses to “Suicide Rampant Among China’s Rural Women, City High-Flyers”

  1. pg said

    This is horribly sad.

  2. Clair said

    Such things no one leaves indifferent and make people think harder. But it`s awful !

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