Suicide and Suicidal Behavior in Women

  • Lakshmi VijayakumarEmail author
  • Neha Lamech
Living reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


Suicide is the leading cause of mortality for young women between 15 and 19 years of age. Globally, suicide mortality rate is higher among men; however, in some Asian countries, it is higher in women. The suicide rate among women from low- and middle-income countries is 8.7 as compared to 5.7 among women in high income countries. Globally, attempted suicide is higher in women than in men. Mental disorders like depression and schizophrenia are identified with suicidal behavior in both men and women. Eating disorders is correlated with a higher risk of suicide in women. Sociocultural factors like intimate partner violence, childhood abuse, and pregnancy-related factors have been associated with suicides among women. Being married appears to be less of a protective factor for women in Asia. Traditional and cultural systems that deny women autonomy have also been shown to increase suicidal behavior among them. There is an absence of targeted suicide prevention strategies for women. The issue of women and suicide has been neglected by policymakers, health, and community. For suicide prevention to be effective, the status of women in society needs to be systematically enhanced through empowerment programs focusing on education and employment. Interventions must be multifaceted and designed that it is nested into existing platforms of social, educational, and health services. Reducing suicide in women should be a global public health priority.


Suicide Women Self harm 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of PsychiatryVHS, SNEHAChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Student, University of YorkYorkUK

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