Enhance Workshops

Enhance Workshops

Integrating Forced Marriage into Healthy Relationship Workshops

Why Integrate Forced Marriage into Healthy Relationship Workshops?

If you are planning on hosting a healthy relationship workshop, it might be a good idea to use this opportunity to discuss forced marriage. Often, forced marriage is presented in the framework of healthy relationships because: 

  • Depending on the audience, forced marriage may be a sensitive topic that may need to be approached along with less volatile topics before being discussed directly.
  • Being able to understand what a healthy or unhealthy relationship looks like can build awareness and resilience around problems directly related to forced marriage, such as lack of choice, abuse, coercion, manipulation, and communicating with your parents and partner.

How Do I Do It?

Youth Workshops:

After introducing and defining what a healthy relationship is, you can integrate forced marriage into the workshop by:

  • Including it as an example of an unhealthy romantic relationship
  • Including it as an example of an unhealthy family/child relationship when families force children into marriage
  • Discussing expectations of parents regarding marriage, youth expectations of marriage, and how to talk to parents about the issue
  • Accessing any of the videos in our Resources or Profiles in Courage sections to begin a discussion about forced marriage in the context of healthy relationships
  • Ask youth to identify which elements of a forced marriage are healthy and which are not

Parent Workshops:

You can integrate forced marriage into healthy relationship workshops by:

  • Including it as an example of an unhealthy family/child relationship when families force children into marriage
  • Discussing the difference between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage and identifying why one is healthy and the other is not
  • Discussing where different elements of forced marriage fall on the healthy/unhealthy relationship spectrum
  • Accessing any of the videos in our Resources or Profiles in Courage sections to begin a discussion about forced marriage in the context of healthy relationships
  • Discussing what values and expectations they have for their children regarding marriage, and how to have a healthy and productive dialogue with their children about it, while also respecting their children’s opinions and choices

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