Tuesday, August 28, 2007


In China, a woman kills herself every four minutes. The ratio is even worse in the countryside. That's according to the World Health Organization, which claims that China is the only country where more women commit suicide than men. The true picture is a bit more complex. Statistics differ from region to region and one might ask, why do so many more men in the west succeed at killing themselves? Experts in Beijing cite any number of causes for high suicide rates, from poverty and a lack of education to the stresses caused by migrant work. A chief reason, is the easy access to pesticides.
Here, Sun Jiangbao, disabled in a mining accident, practices exercises in his front yard. His wife Zhao Haixia, committed suicide 10 years ago during the Spring Festival, the biggest holiday of the year and one that often brings out family conflicts.