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Historical context::Forced marriage

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Historical context Marriages throughout history were arranged between families, especially before the 18th century.<ref name=jo2008>Jodi O'Brien (2008), Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, Volume 1, SAGE Publications, page 40-42, ISBN 978-1412909167</ref> The practices varied by culture, but usually involved the legal transfer of dependency of the woman from her father to the groom. The emancipation of women in the 19th and 20th centuries changed marriage laws dramatically, especially in regard to property and economic status. By the mid-20th century, many Western countries had enacted legislation establishing legal equality between spouses in family law.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The period of 1975-1979 saw a major overhaul of family laws in countries such as Italy,<ref>http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/note/join/2014/493052/IPOL-FEMM_NT%282014%29493052_EN.pdf</ref><ref>http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session20/A-HRC-20-16-Add2_en.pdf</ref> Spain,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref> Austria,<ref>Contemporary Western European Feminism, by Gisela Kaplan, pp. 133</ref><ref>Contemporary Western European Feminism, by Gisela Kaplan, pp. 133</ref> West Germany,<ref>Reconciliation Policy in Germany 1998–2008, Construing the ’Problem’ of the Incompatibility of Paid Employment and Care Work, by Cornelius Grebe; pg 92: "However, the 1977 reform of marriage and family law by Social Democrats and Liberals formally gave women the right to take up employment without their spouses' permission. This marked the legal end of the 'housewife marriage' and a transition to the ideal of 'marriage in partnership'."[1]</ref> <ref>Further reforms to parental rights law in 1979 gave equal legal rights to the mother and the father. Comparative Law: Historical Development of the Civil Law Tradition in Europe, Latin America, and East Asia, by John Henry Merryman, David Scott Clark, John Owen Haley, pp. 542</ref> and Portugal.<ref>Women in Portugal, by Commission of the European Communities, Directorate-General Information, pp 32</ref> In 1978, the Council of Europe passed the Resolution (78) 37 on equality of spouses in civil law.<ref>https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.InstraServlet?command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage=596422&SecMode=1&DocId=662346&Usage=2</ref> Among the last European countries to establish full gender equality in marriage were Switzerland,<ref>In 1985, a referendum guaranteed women legal equality with men within marriage.[2][3] The new reforms came into force in January 1988.Women's movements of the world: an international directory and reference guide, edited by Sally Shreir, p. 254</ref> Greece,<ref>In 1983, legislation was passed guaranteeing equality between spouses, abolishing dowry, and ending legal discrimination against illegitimate children [4]Demos, Vasilikie. (2007) “The Intersection of Gender, Class and Nationality and the Agency of Kytherian Greek Women.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. August 11.</ref> Spain,<ref>In 1981, Spain abolished the requirement that married women must have their husbands’ permission to initiate judicial proceedings [5]</ref> the Netherlands,<ref>The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets: Second Edition, by Tito Boeri, Jan van Ours, pp. 105, [6][7]</ref> and France <ref>Although married women in France obtained the right to work without their husbands' permission in 1965,[8] and the paternal authority of a man over his family was ended in 1970 (before that parental responsibilities belonged solely to the father who made all legal decisions concerning the children), it was only in 1985 that a legal reform abolished the stipulation that the husband had the sole power to administer the children's property. [9]</ref> in the 1980s.

An arranged marriage is not the same as a forced marriage, in the former the spouse has the possibility to reject the offer, in the later they don't. The line between arranged and forced marriage is however often difficult to draw, due to the implied familial and social pressure to accept the marriage and obey one's parents in all respects.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>http://www.huiselijkgeweld.nl/doc/publicaties/Partner%20choice_arranged_and_forced_marriages_cinibulak_2011.pdf</ref>

In Europe, during the late 18th century and early 19th century, the literary, and intellectual movement of romanticism presented new and progressive ideas about love marriage, which started to gain acceptance. In the 19th century, marriage practices varied across Europe, but in general arranged marriages were more common among the upper class. Arranged marriages were the norm in Russia before early 20th century, most of which were endogamous.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}; see Chapter 1</ref> Child marriages were common historically, but began to be questioned in the 19th and 20th century. Child marriages are often considered to be forced marriages, because children (especially young ones) are not able to make a fully informed choice whether or not to marry, being influenced by their families.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

In Western countries, during the past decades, the nature of marriage—especially with regard to the importance of marital procreation and the ease of divorce—has changed dramatically, which has led to less social and familial pressure to get married, and therefore to more freedom of choice in regard to choosing a spouse.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Historically, forced marriage was also used to require a captive (slave or prisoner of war) to integrate with the host community, and accept his or her fate. One example is the English blacksmith John R. Jewitt, who spent three years as a captive of the Nootka people on the Pacific Northwest Coast in 1802–1805. He was ordered to marry, because the council of chiefs thought that a wife and family would reconcile him to staying with his captors for life. Jewitt was given a choice between forced marriage for himself and capital punishment for both him and his "father" (a fellow captive). "Reduced to this sad extremity, with death on the one side, and matrimony on the other, I thought proper to choose what appeared to me the least of the two evils" (p154).<ref>A Narrative of the Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt, only survivor of the crew of the ship Boston, during a captivity of nearly three years among the savages of Nootka Sound: with an account of the manners, mode of living, and religious opinions of the natives.digital full text here</ref>

Forced marriage was also practiced by authoritarian governments as a way to meet population targets. The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia systematically forced people into marriages, in order to increase the population and continue the revolution.<ref>Natalae Anderson, Documentation Center of Cambodia, Memorandum: Charging Forced Marriage as a Crime Against Humanity, 1 (September 22, 2010).</ref>
These marriage ceremonies consisted of no fewer than three couples and could be as large as 160 couples. Generally, the village chief or a senior leader of the community would approach both parties and inform them that they were to be married and at the time and place the marriage would occur. Often, the marriage ceremony would be the first time the future spouses would meet. Parents and other family members were not allowed to participate in selecting the spouse or to attend the marriage ceremony. The Khmer Rouge maintained that parental authority was unnecessary because it “w[as] to be everyone’s ‘mother and father.’”<ref>Anderson, 2.</ref>

Raptio is a Latin term referring to the large scale abduction of women, (kidnapping) either for marriage or enslavement (particularly sexual slavery). The practice is surmised to have been common since anthropological antiquity.<ref>Eisenhauer, U., Kulturwandel und Innovationsprozess: Die fünf grossen 'W' und die Verbreitung des Mittelneolithikums in Südwestdeutschland. Archäologische Informationen 22, 1999, 215-239; an alternative interpretation is the focus of abduction of children rather than women, a suggestion also made for the mass grave excavated at Thalheim. See E Biermann, Überlegungen zur Bevölkerungsgrösse in Siedlungen der Bandkeramik (2001) [10]</ref>

In the 21st century, forced marriages have come to attention in European countries, in the context of immigration from cultures where they are common. The Istanbul Convention prohibits forced marriages. (see Article 37).<ref name="coe.int">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Forced marriage sections
Intro  Historical context  Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery  Istanbul Convention  Causes of forced marriages  Consequences  Violence  Relation to dowry and bride price  Marriage by abduction  Forced marriage as a way of solving disputes  Widow inheritance  In armed conflict  Forced marriage by partner  Escaping a forced marriage  Sharia law  Shotgun wedding  By country  Statistics  See also  References  External links  

Historical context
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