Housewives have always been the largest single group committing suicide in India, but their motives for this action apparently are changing. According to Psychiatrist Dr. Harish Shetty, “It’s no longer just about hardship, domestic violence or dowry torture. Most married urban women kill themselves because of depression, and loneliness or frustrated ambition. In today’s competitive environment the youth, especially women, face tremendous pressure to prove themselves high achievers. Yet after marriage, working women are expected to become perfect homemakers, even at the cost of their careers. More and more educated women are suffering from depression because they have this constant urge to find meaning in life through their careers while the people around them feel otherwise.”
He cited the case of Meena Pathak, who gave up her job and became a housewife. As her children grew older she began feeling useless. She jumped out of a window at age 38, leaving behind two sons, aged 12 and 15. In another case, Swali Thathe, a 24-year old teacher who had to look after ailing in-laws, had a nervous breakdown at school and one day she was suspended for hitting a pupil. She leaped from her apartment to her death.
There is ample evidence that as India’s burgeoning middle class expands, more and more women will be trapped in choices between home and work.
Information from The Telegraph, India