Horrific: Student Commits Suicide Because Her Family Wouldn’t Let Her Study Engineering
5:15 pm, August 3rd | by Amy Tennery
Pooja Singh Kumawat, a 19-year-old from India’s Rajasthan state, threw herself in front of a train after her family allegedly barred her from pursuing an engineering degree, according to an indescribably sad story from the Indo Asian News Service published on Yahoo.
Police say the young woman, a college student, took her life at 11 am, leaving behind a note that explained her family wouldn’t allow her to pursue her dream of being an engineer because “only boys were allowed to pursue their dreams.” The whole story is downright awful.
Kumawat’s case — while horrific on a visceral level — also underscores something profound about the stigma that women the world over still face when pursuing so-called “non-traditional careers.” In the U.S., where women routinely outnumber men in college, we account for just 14 percent of engineers, according to recent data from the National Center For Education Statistics. In India, women can face an even greater set of obstacles. In 2005, for example, women accounted for just 8 percent of engineering grads from ITT Bombay, according to a report from the Anita Borg Institute. While any number of factors could have led to this horrific suicide, the note Kumawat left behind makes it clear her educational limitations may have been a contributing factor.
Of course, statistics and data aside, there’s just no way to wrap your head around how awful this is.