What causes depression in pakistani women?
Credits: Ghania Ali
Depression has a way to infect every area of a person’s life, including their physical health, relationships, career, and social life. Cultural and social factors play a huge role in causing depression in females due to the gender specific roles and responsibilities along with stereotypes enforced on them. According to surveys, women are reported to have higher rates of depression, especially in our society and here are some common causes of it.
Jumping on the Marriage Wagon
Pakistani females often experience deteriorating mental health due to marriage related issues. Starting from forced marriages to attempting to sustain abusive marriages, depression is likely to steer in their direction. This happens because of the lack of social support in their lives causing them to feel isolated and thus being stuck in the rut of this toxic culture. These females are on the receiving end of domestic violence instigated by their spouses and in laws. And in trying to fit into the ‘perfect bahu’ (daughter in law) and ‘perfect biwi’ (wife) image, they often put themselves last.
Restricted Mobility for Women
Another contributor to depression is restricting the mobility of women thus stealing away educational and career-building opportunities from them. Either they are not allowed to explore their career paths and if they are brave enough to break that barrier, they are met by sexual harassment at workplace. When you create hopeless situations for any person in a society, they are bound to be embraced by depression.
A woman’s life or a ticking clock?
Women in our society are pressurised to live their lives in fast forward mode. Done with your bachelors? Oh, here’s a marriage proposal. Got married? Time to have kids. In this rush of surviving through these milestones, we have taken away the rights of women to follow their aspirations. A working woman is viewed as a failing mother because our society manipulates people into believing that women are only suitable for house chores and bearing children. When you do not have people, who believe in you and your abilities, it is likely that you too stop believing in yourself, thus opening the window to depressive states.
Women are often fighting alone for their survival in a society that is build on pillars that do not support a woman’s world. In order, to reduce the likelihood of depression caused by such social factors we need to formulate a more equitable society. Let women breathe.