Ghizer: Rising suicide among women concerns PPP leader

Weekly Bang-e-sahar Saturday, May 31—–June 6, 2008
By Our Correspondent
GILGIT: The increasing incidents of suicide by women in the Ghizer district is a big cause of concern and more so when all political, administrative and social organizations including NGOs remain a silent spectator to the issue. This was stated by Sadia Danish, chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), women wing, Northern Areas while talking to Bang-e-Sahar. She said suicide committed by as many as 151 women in Ghizer is a test case as far as regional and human rights violations were concerned. She said it was also a cause of concern why only women commit suicide in the district. She said human rights organizations in Pakistan should take note of the incidents and probe into the underlining causes of the incidents. Ms Danish stressed the need to get a survey conducted by a team of psychologists to ascertain the causes of suicide by women in Ghizer, so that practical steps can be taken to resolve the problems. She also pointed out that we should also go into the depth of the issue to find out whether cases of murder are not being termed suicide to escape the law. She said police and administration officials should also play their role in investigating the cases and bring out the truth. Ms Danish welcomed the announcement of federal minister for women development to launch a five-year program named after slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto to empower women in the country. She, however, demanded that the women of Gilgit-Baltistan should be included in the 20 per cent quota reserved for women in government jobs. She also called upon the government to extend the jurisdiction of women crisis centres to the Northern Areas, adding the step would help in saving the lives of hundreds of women, especially in the district of Ghizer. According to social analysts, the main underlying cause behind the increasing suicide cases among the women in Ghizer is poverty and lack of education, because there are still many areas in the district where the government has failed to open an educational institution. In areas where there are Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee schools, parents are unable to send their daughters to the institutions due to poverty. Those who manage to educate their children up to the matric level become helpless after matriculation exams due to lack of resources and absence of colleges in their areas. This becomes a stumbling block, as poor people cannot send their daughters out of the district to pursue education. Analysts say rising cases of suicide among women are not confined to Ghizer alone but are also widespread in other areas of Gilgit-Baltistan but such cases are not brought into the public in the name of honour. Sometimes when a suicide case is leaked out to the press the reporter concerned is taken to court under the name of libel. Sources tell Bang-e-Sahar that the rising suicide incidents in Ghizer are caused by lack of educational institutions in the area, rampant corruption among administration authorities and discrimination against the local people in allocation of government jobs. In this regard, the role of NGOs has been disappointing. The activities of the NGOs who are making tall claims of working for human rights in the area has been limited to specific segment of population and they are mainly working to achieve their vested interests. The government should take immediate measures to end the sense of deprivation among the people and provide them basic facilities of life so that they can live honourable life and the suicide cases could be checked.


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