£23.99 | $47.95

7 July 2011
ISBN: 9781848134638
272 pages
216 x 138mm
Gender and Sexuality

Anthropology, Asia, Cultural Studies, Geography, Human Rights, International Relations, Middle East

Forced Marriage

Introducing a social justice and human rights perspective

Foreword by Yakin Erturk, contributions by Anja Bredal, Teertha Gupta, Samia Bano, Marzia Balzani, Sara Hossain, Geetanjali Gangoli, Shazia Choudhry, Ann Singleton, Khantun Sapnara, Khatidja Chantler, and Marianne Hester, and volume editor Aisha Gill and Sundari Anitha

Forced Marriage: Introducing a social justice and human rights perspective brings together leading practitioners and researchers from the disciplines of criminology, sociology and law. Together the contributors provide an international, multi-disciplinary perspective that offers a compelling alternative to prevailing conceptualisations of the problem of forced marriage. The volume examines advances in theoretical debates, analyses existing research and presents new evidence that challenges the cultural essentialism that often characterises efforts to explain, and even justify, this violation of women's rights. By locating forced marriage within broader debates on violence against women, social justice and human rights, the authors offer an intersectional perspective that can be used to inform both theory and practical efforts to address violence against diverse groups of women. This unique book, which is informed by practitioner insights and academic research, is essential reading for practitioners and students of sociology, criminology, gender studies and law.


'Avoiding the polemic that characterises much discourse on forced marriage, this wide-ranging but coherent collection is not only a significant addition to the academic literature, it provides valuable insights for those working on the frontline supporting girls and women at risk. The writers here recognise the difficult balancing act involved in identifying the specificities of forced marriage without reinforcing cultural stereotypes, and the debates in this volume range from the theoretical level to concrete recommendations for policy makers and women's organisations. This volume will help ensure that policy in the UK and Europe frames forced marriage as the human rights abuse that it is rather than a problematic cultural practice divorced from "mainstream" forms of violence against women and girls.' - Dr Moira Dustin, Visiting Fellow, LSE Gender Institute

'In this important addition to knowledge, academics and lawyers extend our understanding of forced marriage, locating it in the continuum of gender based violence against women whilst outlining its particularities, including the myriad pressures on women at entry, during and on exit from marriage. Revealing and challenging analyses identify the traps of culturalised policies, whilst simultaneously noting the constrained agency of minoritised women. It is a must for anyone who cares about gender equality and human rights.' - Professor Liz Kelly, London Metropolitan University

'This challenging, innovative and much-needed book on forced marriage brings together most of the main writers, researchers and activists in the field. International in scope, it is the first-ever book of its type in the UK and will be key in the field for years to come.' - Gill Hague, Professor of Violence Against Women Studies Centre for Gender and Violence Research University of Bristol

Table of Contents

Foreword - Professor Yakin Erturk, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
Introduction: Framing forced marriage as a form of violence against women - Aisha K. Gill and Sundari Anitha
Section 1: Definitions, contexts and theoretical concepts
1. Understanding forced marriage: Definitions and realities - Geetanjali Gangoli, Khatidja Chantler, Marianne Hester and Ann Singleton
2. Reconceptualising consent and coercion within an intersectional understanding of Forced Marriage - Sundari Anitha and Aisha K. Gill
3. Forced Marriage: The European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 - Shazia Choudhry
4. Border control to prevent forced marriages: Choosing between protecting women and protecting the nation - Anja Bredal
5. The social construction of forced marriage and its 'victim' in media coverage and crime policy discourses - Sundari Anitha and Aisha K. Gill
Section 2: Policy and Practice
6. Forced marriage legislation in the UK: A critique - Aisha K. Gill and Sundari Anitha
7. The law, the courts and their effectiveness - Teertha Gupta and Khatun Sapnara
8. The practice of law-making and the problem of forced marriage: What is the role of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal? - Samia Bano
9. Constructing Victims, Construing Credibility: Forced marriage, Pakistani women and the UK asylum process - Marzia Balzani
10. 'Wayward Girls' and 'Well-Wisher Parents': Habeas Corpus, Women's Rights to Personal Liberty, Consent to Marriage and the Bangladeshi Courts - Sara Hossain

About the Authors:

Dr Aisha K. Gill is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Roehampton University. She has been involved in addressing the problem of Violence Against Women (VAW) at the grassroots and activist levels for the past thirteen years. She is currently an active member of 'End Violence Against Women' Coalition (EVAW) invited advisor to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) strategic support group on investigations and complaints involving gendered forms of violence against women in the UK, and member of Kurdish Women's Rights Watch.

Dr Sundari Anitha is a Lecturer in Criminology at the School of Social Sciences, University of Lincoln. She previously worked as a manager in a Women's Aid refuge, is currently a trustee of a specialist refuge, Asha Projects and is active in campaigning and policy-making on violence against women.