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    • Breaking the Silence of Gender Violence – Webinar – Sabrina Atwal   ~ Canadian Maple Leaf Icon

Liv: Breaking the Cycle of Gender Violence from Sikh Research Institute on Vimeo.


This webinar was presented on 23 March by Sabrina Atwal, a project director at the Indo Canadian Women’s Center. In this webinar, Atwal explores harmful cultural practices, many of which have been exported in to the diasporic Sikh communities, that lead to gendered violence. She also discusses tactics which have led to successful reduction or elimination of these practices and how to implement them.

  • Gangoli, G., &Chantler, K. (2009). Protecting Victims of Forced Marriage: Is Age a Protective Factor?.Feminist Legal Studies, 17(3), 267-288. doi:10.1007/s10691-009-9132-7

    This paper explores the UK’s legal interventions in the arena of forcedmarriage. Three key initiatives have been considered in the last 5 years: creating a specific crime of forcedmarriage; civil rather than criminal protection for victims; and an increase in the age of entry for non-EU spouses, with a corresponding increase in age for sponsoring such spouses. Our key focus is on the last of these interventions and we draw upon a research study conducted in the UK in 2006/2007 exploring the risks and benefits associated with increasing the age of sponsorship and entry. The UK government’s argument is that the increased maturity which comes from being older acts as a protective factor, thus making it easier to resist forcedmarriage. This view of maturity gains its saliency from developmental psychology. Here, we critically analyse the construct of age and the link between age and ability to resist forcedmarriage. We illustrate through the accounts of victims of forcedmarriage and of stakeholders the difficulties of adopting age as a central organising feature of protection for potential victims of forcedmarriage.

  • Gill, A., &Anitha, S. (2009). The illusion of protection? An analysis of forced marriage legislation and policy in the UK. Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law, 31(3), 257-269. doi:10.1080/09649060903354589

    This article examines the background, provisions and implications of the 2007 ForcedMarriage Civil Bill, with specific regard to the UK government’s present efforts to address the problem of forcedmarriage. It maps the tensions inherent in the creation of civil and criminal legislation to tackle forcedmarriage in the UK. The debates on the origins, design and workings of the 2007 ForcedMarriage Civil Protection Act are considered, as are its implications for victims, prosecutors and criminal law in general. By exploring how the dominant discourses on forcedmarriage have shaped recent legislation, and the state’s response to this problem (focused myopically on the legal system), this article evaluates how effective forcedmarriage legislation is for protecting vulnerable black and minority ethnic (BME) women in the UK, while also offering reflections on the current challenges confronting attempts to implement legal measures

  • Gangoli, G., McCarry, M., &Razak, A. (2009). Child Marriage or Forced Marriage? South Asian Communities in North East England. Children & Society, 23(6), 418-429. doi:10.1111/j.1099-0860.2008.00188.x

    This article addresses the links between child marriage and forcedmarriage in the UK, drawing from a research study on South Asian communities in North East England. It looks at definitional issues through an analysis of UK and South Asian policies. It also analyses how these concepts are understood by service providers, survivors of child marriage and young people from South Asian communities. Finally, concepts such as gender, age, familial and community control reflected in normative marriage practices are addressed. 

  • Dauvergne, C., &Millbank, J. (2010). Forced Marriage as a Harm in Domestic and International Law. Modern Law Review, 73(1), 57-88. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2230.2009.00784.x

    This article reports on our analysis of 120 refugee cases from Australia, Canada, and Britain where an actual or threatened forcedmarriage was part of the claim for protection. We found that forcedmarriage was rarely considered by refugee decision makers to be a harm in and of itself. This finding contributes to understanding how gender and sexuality are analysed within refugee law, because the harm of forcedmarriage is experienced differently by lesbians, gay men and heterosexual women. We contrast our findings in the refugee case law with domestic initiatives in Europe aimed at protecting nationals from forcedmarriages both within Europe and elsewhere. We pay particular attention to British initiatives because they are in many ways the most far-reaching and innovative, and thus the contrast with the response of British refugee law is all the more stark.

  • Ouattara, M., Sen, P., & Thomson, M. (1998). Forced marriage, forced sex: the perils of childhood for girls. Gender & Development, 6(3), 27-33. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

    A new inter-agency group, the Forum on the Rights of Girls and Women in Marriage, has been formed to investigate how early marriage, non-consensual marriage, and rape within marriage affect girls and women. Comparing case studies from Nepal, West Africa, and India, the authors argue that, to be effective, we must address cultural practices harming girls separately.

  • Fernandez, S. (2009). The crusade over the bodies of women. Patterns of Prejudice, 43(3/4), 269-286. doi:10.1080/00313220903109185

    Anti-Muslim prejudice finds its roots in the history of the West. Since the time of the Crusades, Islam and its adherents have been cast as the strange and deviant Other, the polar opposite to the reasonable and civilized West. It is suggested, however, that it is only in recent times that we have seen such prejudice become a normalized part of the very fabric of society. 9/11, 7/7 and the ‘war on terror’ have propelled Muslims and their faith into the limelight, forcing them to become accountable en masse for the sins of the few. Rhetoric—both social and legal—focuses on the barbarity, brutality and oppressiveness that is Islam, and the bodies of women form the battlefield on which this verbal crusade is waged. Starting with this premise, Fernandez suggests that anti-Muslim prejudice is increasingly subsumed and hidden behind a concern for women. She explores the discourse around gender-based practices such as veiling, forcedmarriages and honour killings to reveal the ways in which expressions of Islamophobia have become normalized and neutralized through the articulation and juxtaposition of traditions of patriarchy and gender inequality within Islam and counter traditions of gender equality in the West. She argues that the effect of this is two-fold. First, it unquestioningly reinforces the idea that Islam is oppressive to women, homogenizing and generalizing such oppression as representative of the whole rather than as specific to the few. Second, it allows for the silencing of the voices of Muslim women while simultaneously proclaiming a desire to free them from such silencing. Fernandez suggests that it is this duality hidden behind a facade of concern for gender equality that facilitates the institutionalization of Islamophobic norms.

  • Samad, Y. (2010). Forced marriage among men: An unrecognized problem. Critical Social Policy, 30(2), 189-189-207. doi:10.1177/0261018309358289

    Forced marriage is generally viewed as a clash between culture and gender and the fact that men are also victims, in a small number of cases, escapes attention of policy makers and activists. While the overall approach to forced marriage has helped men as well they, however, have remained below the radar of public concern. A problem particular to men is their unwillingness to articulate in public forums their predicament as questions of masculinity are then raised. Ultimately men will have to break the silence, organize and mobilize collectively if they wish to see specific policies that target men. [Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd., copyright holder.

  • Human Trafficking. (2009). Canada & the World Backgrounder74(6), 28-31.

    The article explores the worldwide surged of women trafficking. According to reports, violent bride abductions happened nearly every week in southern Russian republics. It mentions the bride buying in China and women from various countries are forced into the sex trade with promises of fake jobs, such as models or hostesses. It also states that women trafficked for the sex industry are predominantly from South East Asia, Russia and South America.

  • Deane, T. (2010). Cross-Border Trafficking in Nepal and India-Violating Women’s Rights. Human Rights Review11(4), 491-513. doi:10.1007/s12142-010-0162-y

    Humantrafficking is both a human rights violation and the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. This article examines cross-border trafficking of girls and women in Nepal to India. It gives a brief explanation of what is meant by trafficking and then looks at the reasons behind trafficking. In Nepal, women and children are trafficked internally and to India and the Middle East for commercial sexual exploitation or forcedmarriage, as well as to India and within the country for involuntary servitude as child soldiers, domestic servants, circus entertainment, and factory workers. Nepal and India are both signatories to international conventions and bound by domestic law to combat trafficking, and yet, this scourge continues. There are many laws in place, both in Nepal and India, which regulate the trafficking and prostituting of girls and women. This article looks at how effective these laws and regulations actually are and will look at the reasons for the continuation of trafficking. Despite the formal recognition of girl trafficking as a major problem and the existence of laws to curtail it, trafficking continues. The major problem with Nepal’s and India’s domestic laws is in the lack of enforcement. Finally, this article will look at ways to fight trafficking and make the governments of India and Nepal more effective in their fight against trafficking.