According to the Global Health Data Exchange, India stands out with the highest suicide rate among young and middle-aged women when compared to countries with similar socio-demographics.

Data from the National Crime Records Bureau reveals a distressing statistic of 22,372 housewives taking their own lives in 2020, translating to an alarming average of 61 suicides per day, or one every 25 minutes.

Main Body:


Early Marriage:
Early marriage often leads to added stress and responsibilities at a young age, contributing to mental health issues and suicide.

Gender-Based Violence:
Instances of rape, sexual exploitation, and domestic abuse have a profound impact on the mental well-being of women.
Government data reveals that nearly one in three Indian women aged 15 to 49 who have been married have faced domestic abuse, with approximately 3% reporting physical violence during pregnancy.

Pressure to Give Birth to a Son:
Societal pressure to bear a male child can create immense stress and despair for women.

Lack of Financial Autonomy:
Women’s financial dependence can make them vulnerable to abusive situations and limit their choices.

Poverty-driven desperation, such as the case of a mother in Salem, Tamil Nadu, who tragically jumped in front of a moving bus to pay her children’s fees, can lead to suicides.

Role of Pandemic:
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated issues such as domestic violence, job losses (especially among domestic workers), and mental health challenges.

Student Suicides:
Academic pressure and expectations can push students, especially young women, towards suicide.

Mental Health Challenges:
Factors like social isolation, lack of public awareness, and poor understanding of depression contribute to the problem.

Double Burden of Office and Household Work:
Balancing professional careers with household responsibilities creates a challenging environment for many women.

Increasing Disaster and Displacement:
Natural disasters and displacement situations can lead to heightened stress and vulnerability.

Way Forward:

  • Social Sensitization: Initiatives to raise awareness about mental health issues and gender-based violence.
  • Role of Self-Help Groups (SHGs): Empowering women through economic independence and support networks.
  • Access to Mental Health Care Services: Expanding access to mental health services and counseling.
  • Strict Implementation of Laws: Ensuring the enforcement of laws against crimes targeting women.
  • National Suicide Prevention Strategy: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s recent strategy in November 2022.
  • Barmer, Rajasthan Initiative: The “Anmol Jeevan” campaign launched on World Mental Health Day in 2021, which included a 24-hour helpline.


Suicide among women in India is a complex issue influenced by both psychological and sociological factors.
Implementing comprehensive policies, including awareness campaigns, economic empowerment, improved mental health services, and legal enforcement, can play a crucial role in addressing this concerning trend.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish October 10, 2023