Over a year ago I asked – who killed Navjeet Sidhu? A year after she committed suicide by throwing herself and her two kids underneath a train in Southall, a court is holding an inquest to find the same [via SM].
Navjeet’s death was so traumatic that six months later her mother committed suicide at the same spot.
Notes from the inquest make depresssing but unsurprising reading:
She suffered from depression, which began when she gave birth to a daughter rather than a son. Her condition became worse after her husband, Manjit, who left her to return to his native India, said that he would come back home only if he did not have to do any household chores. The court was told how Mr Sidhu, who arrived six minutes after the incident at Southall station, walked past the bodies of his wife and five-year-old daughter, Simran, to pick up the body of his 23-month-old son, Aman Raj, and take him to hospital.
British Asian women are three more times than average to commit suicide. It is clear what is needed here – a grassroots campaign to challenge this all-pervasive and sickening sexism that claims the lives of women every year. But there seems to be paralysis on ground level and with politicians; how exactly is change brought about? Or is a matter of waiting for the older generation village-mentality people to die out? The politicians can’t even bring themselves to bring about tougher legislation against forced marriages.
Taking a campaign to places of religious worship could help but the management, while stating that the religious texts call for sex equality, want to avoid the issue. They would rather talk about injustices in far-off lands than women dying under their noses.
I’ve come to the conclusion that educating the men is a worthless idea. You cannot teach old dogs new tricks. The only way forward would be to find ways to empower women to find help and support when they are faced with such family hostility. Thoughts? Opinions?
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Filed in: Culture,Sex equality