SEOUL, July 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korea has the highest rate of female suicide among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to data presented by the Finance Ministry and Statistics Korea on Thursday.
The data showed that 18.7 out of every 100,000 South Korean women committed suicide in 2008 while suicide rates in other OECD member countries, except for Japan, stayed at four to eight in every 100,000 women. For Japanese women the rate was 13.2 per 100, 000, it said.
Suicide is the third leading cause for female deaths in South Korea after cerebrovascular diseases and heart disorders.
Experts view that the high suicide rate among women in South Korea stems from stress regarding school, work, relationships, parenting and financial problems.
"The role of women has become greater as the society undergoes a drastic change," a government official said to local media, adding "as a result, stress inflicted on women has been on the rise, and so have cases in which weak-minded women make an extreme choice like suicide."
The South Korean government has launched a string of efforts to tackle the high rate of suicide in the country, with a goal of reducing the suicide rate to less than 20 by 2013.