Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, June 8, 2012

Suicides in Arranged-Marriage Societies

From the NYT:

“I tried to kill myself,” she said. “I didn’t want to get married. I was forced to get engaged.”

In this desolate and tradition-bound community in the northwest corner of Iraq, at the foot of a mountain range bordering Syria, Ms. Merza’s reaction to the ancient custom of arranged marriage is becoming more common. Officials are alarmed by what they describe as a worsening epidemic of suicides, particularly among young women tormented by being forced to marry too young, to someone they do not love.

While reliable statistics on anything are hard to come by in Iraq, officials say there have been as many as 50 suicides this year in this city of 350,000 — at least double the rate in the United States — compared with 80 all of last year. The most common methods among women are self-immolation and gunshots.

Among the many explanations given, like poverty and madness, one is offered most frequently: access to the Internet and to satellite television, which came after the start of the war. This has given young women glimpses of a better life, unencumbered by the traditions that have constricted women for centuries to a life of obedience and child-rearing, one devoid of romance.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

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It's hard to imagine a worse situation than being a young person who is forced by parents, by the community into marrying someone who you don't want to marry.

Posted by: tulsa divorce lawyers | Jun 8, 2012 7:00:47 AM

...its a sad sad situation.

Posted by: things to do in tulsa oklahoma | Jun 8, 2012 11:34:57 AM

I never really thought of suicide as a consequence of not having legal access to divorce. I guess the thought of being trapped in a marriage to someone you don't know or like for the rest of your life could drive someone to suicide.

Posted by: Divorce Attorney Tulsa | Jun 8, 2012 2:59:13 PM

Hey excellent article on the bad effects of arranged marriages, i think people should take necessary steps to prevent its ill effects. see even i have this post that represents disadvantages of arranged marriages.

Posted by: sakshi | Aug 9, 2012 12:17:33 AM

That was very tough time for you and thanks for sharing your experience .

Posted by: Sanika | Oct 22, 2019 2:22:40 AM

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