5 years ago

Female labour force participation and suicide rates in 70 countries in the world

The current study aims to illustrate male to female suicide rate ratios in the world and explore the correlations between female labour force participation rates (FLPR) and suicide rates of both genders. Further, whether the relationship of FLPR and suicide rates vary according to the human capabilities of a given country, are examined. Using suicide data obtained from the World Health Organization Statistical Information System, suicide gender ratios of 70 countries are illustrated. Based on the level of Human Development Index (HDI) and FLPR, the Bayesian Information Criteria (BIC) was used to determine the optimal number of clusters of those countries. Graphic illustrations of FLPR and gender-specific suicide rates, stratified by each cluster were presented, and Pearson's correlation coefficients calculated. Three clusters are identified, there was no correlation between FLPR and suicide rates in the first cluster where both the HDI and FLPR were the highest (Male: r = 0.29, P = 0.45; Female: r = 0.01, P = 0.97); whereas in Cluster 2, higher level of FLPR corresponded to lower suicide rates in both genders, although the statistical significance was only found in females (Male: r = -0.32, P = 0.15; Female: r = -0.48, P = 0.03). In Cluster 3 countries where HDI/FLPR were relatively lower, increased FLPR was associated with higher suicide rates for both genders (Male: r = 0.32, P = 0.04; Female: r = 0.32, P = 0.05). The relationship between egalitarian gender norms and suicide rates varies according to national context. A greater egalitarian gender norms may benefit both genders, but more so for women, in countries equipped with better human capabilities. Although the beneficial effect may reach a plateau in countries with the highest HDI/FLPR; whereas in countries with relatively lower HDI/FLPR, increased FLPR were associated with higher suicide rates.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0277953617306780

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