Suicide rates have increased among Yemenis in the recent years. A statistic has revealed that suicide rates have gone up at an alarming rate among youth and girls. 2013 statistics have explained that the number of suicides were at least 251 people, including 62 women, 4 children, and 13 foreigners. This increase may give indication of a wider social problem, though many families and friends may hide suicides, masking the true figures. Suicide is considered to be haram, and many could mean well.
According to an annual report issued by the Ministry of Interior, the suicides took place in twenty governorates. Most were in Sana’a, where 45 were recorded, followed by Ta’iz with 36, and Hodeida with 33.
The report also reported suicide attempts. 179 were recorded in the past year, including 46 women, with 73 being seen in Sana’a. This was followed by 21 in Hodeida, and 12 in Hajja.
Methods varied between the use of firearms, poison, and ropes. Reports said that firearms and insecticides are the most effective means for suicide, and that it is troubling that these two things are readily available in Yemen.
More than 50% of reported suicides were among the young, between 19 and 30 years. Experts agree that the difficult economic situation in Yemen is the main reason, along with other factors like mental illness, religious issues, and substance abuse. Most Yemeni women who commit suicide were found to be married, worrying many specialists and scholars.
Despite the ambiguity about the true figures, the phenomenon is still increasing. Many believe that the last five years of injustice and marginalization are crucial for understanding why many women feel this desperate. Ebtisam Zaid spoke about the social pressures that Yemeni women face.
“Contemporary Yemeni women no longer accept being a piece of furniture. She starts her life with hopes and frustrations, concern and tension, and fights a battle against ignorance and backwardness in the name of change. But sometimes, people around her prevent that, and reject all that she desires.”
Suicide is complicated, but broadly, it is brought on by a dissatisfaction with reality. It is likely to continue until there is structural change that makes people satisfied, especially if they are female.