Suicide Toll of Asian Women Attacked at Home

By Oakeshott, Isobel | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), March 14, 2000 | Go to article overview

Suicide Toll of Asian Women Attacked at Home


Oakeshott, Isobel, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


ASIAN women are between two and three times more likely to commit suicide than their Western counterparts.

The shocking statistics reflect the oppression they often suffer at the hands of their menfolk.

They are taught not to complain when they are unhappy and many suffer in silence when they are abused. They fear speaking out will bring shame on their families.

Every year, 1000 British Asian women are forced to marry against their will, plucked from their homes in the West and taken to marry a stranger in Pakistan or India.

Hundreds more are brought from Pakistan or India to the UK to marry British Asian relatives living here.

Last year, the Record told how Sofia Ghani, of Glasgow, was forced to marry a man she had never even spoken to.

The 23-year-old told how she was treated like a slave by her husband, who ignored and belittled her and forced her to take the contraceptive pill, even though it made her ill.

She grew so desperate that she cropped her long hair in the hope that he would leave her, but in the end she had to file for divorce and face the shame and stigma of a failed marriage.

In 1996, Glasgow MP Mohammad Sarwar, then a city councillor, flew to Pakistan to rescue a 14-year-old girl from Glasgow who was taken to the Punjab and forced to marry her 40-year-old cousin. …

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