Maternal mortality has been considered the biggest killer of teenage girls around the world. That has now changed. The number one cause of death among teenage girls is suicide.
Nisha Lilia Diu reports in The Telegraph that according to the National Health Organisation report more girls aged between 15 to 19 die from self harm than from road accidents, diseases or complications of pregnancy.
Leading Causes for Death among Teenage Girls:
1. Self Harm
2. Maternal Conditions
3. HIV/ AIDS
4. Road Injuries
Professor Vikram Patel, a psychiatrist who was recently featured in Time magazine’s 100 most Influential People for his work in global mental health, believes the most probable reason is gender discrimination.
Nishia Lilia Diu continues with the report of a girl, who she names “Rhea”, who attempted suicide twice because of sexual abuse form her boyfriend at school. As “Rhea” tells the reporter,
“Porn was everywhere in my school. My boyfriend was obsessed with it. I told him I was not ready to have sex. One evening he assaulted me in the park. The assaults became routine.”
Professor Patel believes that sexual pressure is a significant factor in girls’ unhappiness. “Rhea” has a different opinion, she says that the strongest pressure comes from online media.
“Kim Kardashian, for example, and all of her waist-training stuff at the moment. Loads of girls at my school are talking about it and they’re unhappy because it makes them feel insecure in themselves and like they have to try to look like that.”
Dr. Amy Chandler, a research fellow at Edinburgh University explains that groups that have less power tend to be more vulnerable.
Young women in parts of the Middle East and South East Asia are some of the most disempowered and marginalised people in the world.
Even in the West, adolescence is a time when girls feel their choices become restricted: that they must look and behave in certain ways to be accepted.
Why did we allow this to happen? Why doesn’t every girl believe that she is special, unique and one of a kind? How can it be that in 2015 we are still talking about gender discrimination?
Educate a girl. I am not just talking about the education they get in school. I am talking about the education of life. I am talking about empowerment and faith.
You can read the full article here: The Telegraph.