Forced Marriage & Free Partner Choice
Time & Location
About the Event
Forced marriage is a life-changing reality for many of many women and girls. It is a practice rooted more in tradition than religious custom and one that spans the globe but more present in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The UNO views forced marriage as a form of human rights abuse, since it violates the principle of the freedom and autonomy of individual states that a person's right to choose a spouse and enter freely into marriage is central to his/her life and dignity, and his/her equality as a human being.
The impacts are far reaching – exposure to domestic violence, slavery, sexual abuse, increased maternal death, infant health risks, deprivation of future and freedom, threats of abandonment and divorce, honour killings, acid attacks, human trafficking etc.
According to UNICEF, worldwide more than 650 million women alive today were married as children. Every year at least 12 million girls are married before they reach the age of 18. This is 28 girls every minute. One in every five girls is married, or in union, before reaching age 18. In the least developed countries, that number doubles – 40 per cent of girls are married before age 18, and 12 per cent of girls are married before age 15.
Forced marriage is not a problem specific to one country or culture and is also prevalent in Pakistan, to a degree even within their communities living abroad.
This panel discussion is designed to share the experiences of those who were forcibly married, to discuss the reasons, consequences and solutions.
We conduct dialogues in both Dutch, English and Urdu languages.