The introduction of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 marked a ground-breaking moment in the history of black and minority ethnic (BME) women’s struggles in the UK, against violence against women and for equality. It represented the culmination of BME women’s struggles against the powerful multicultural precept that legal and other state responses to the needs of BME women should be guided by cultural relativism rather than by secular, universal human rights norms and standards on gender equality. And, it signalled a human rights-based approach to all forms of gender-based violence against BME women who otherwise remained invisible in the social contract that had been forged between the British state and its minorities.
The full version of this landmark is written by Pragna Patel.
BBC News, ‘Laws in the UK: Forced Marriage Act’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/forcedmarriage/crime_1.shtml
Emma Franck-Gwinnell, ‘Forced Marriage: Is It A Human Rights Question?’ (Human Rights News, Views and Info, 1 September 2016) https://rightsinfo.org/forced-marriage/
Southall Black Sisters, ‘The Forced Marriage Campaign’ http://www.southallblacksisters.org.uk/campaigns/forced-marriage-campaign