Women in forced marriages number in the hundreds in Ontario

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Hundreds of women in Ontario are in marriages against their will, with a quarter of them married when they were just teenagers, according to a three-year study looking into the practice.

The South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, or SALCO, released its findings today looking at 219 cases of forced marriage that were identified in the province between 2010 and 2012.

The report, titled Who/If/When to Marry: The Incidence of Forced Marriage in Ontario, found that both men and women in the province are coerced into marriage, but 92 per cent of those affected are women. In 25 per cent of the cases, the people involved were just 16 to 18 years old when they were married.

It’s the first study to provide a closer look at these non-consensual unions, which are defined as marriages where individuals are forced to wed against their will, under duress or without full, free and informed consent from both parties.

"I think the reality is that number is just a tipping point of all those cases we know are not getting reported," said Shalini Konanur of SALCO. 

"And you have to remember our collection was just in Ontario, so the national picture would be much more, I think, bigger.

Written By: CBC News
continue to source article at cbc.ca

13 COMMENTS

  1. Oh dear no-one mentioned any religion. Let me guess, – Islam ?

    Not that the other two Abrahamic religions are any better. Females are just private property to be traded as if they were gold bars. Just disgusting.

  2. In the radio version of this article, they pointed out the majority of forced marriages involved Muslims, mostly women. They also said that women, even when they are quite annoyed about being forced into marriage, are reluctant to report the crime because they don’t want to hurt their families.

  3. There was a story a few years ago about a young Indian Hindu Canadian woman who rejected the husband her parents selected and married a dashingly handsome lower caste man. Mom then hired assassins to kill them both.

    In Canada a parent might say they wished they could kill their offspring for rebellion, but it is just a figure of speech.

    What kind of forces could possibly override our basic Darwinian imperative to preserve the life of offspring?

    • In reply to #3 by Roedy:

      What kind of forces could possibly override our basic Darwinian imperative to preserve the life of offspring?

      If a mother has more than one offspring she may be motivated to abandon or off one of them if she feels its existence threatens the well being of its siblings. This is the basic reasoning behind infanticide which is a common human female reproductive strategy.

      A mother may also abandon her offspring if her own survival is in jeopardy.

      Maternal instinct is not that sacred, glorified force that we see depicted in all religious art with the perfect mother of all time, Virgin Mary bent over the dead body of her broken son. It is something different than that. It’s calculating, sometimes self serving, sometimes frightening in the ferocity it produces in us women and sometimes it leads us to choices that are overwhelmingly sad.

      Even though the subject may be disturbing to many, I hope we can have the courage to look it in the eye and make peace with mother nature for what it is.

  4. المراة في الاسلام هي لم توجد الا لإرضاء الرجل ومتعته . وقد ورد في حديث ان البكر تؤمر اي تجبر على الزواج اي ان ولي الامر يفعل ما يريد بالانثى وليس لها حق الاعتراض وتنتقل من عبودية الاب الى عبودية الزوج

  5. I am not trying to stir things up, nevertheless, I would like to know this: When a Muslim man proposes, is he allowed to see what’s underneath his betrothed tent, or does he have to take the matchmaker’s word for it?

    • I read a book some years ago called “The Kite Runner” by Khalied Hussieni (not sure if i butchered his name)… anyway, it was a frank and honest glimpse into what I visualize as an average middle eastern muslim family. I am of the belief (yes, I actually have a couple of those belief things) that “people are people”. We are not as different as the news or the REPORTED news would have us believe. However, the “honor killing” and “arranged marriage” and several other facets of “ordinary” muslim life have me sad and worried and wanting change. As far as a peek under the hood…. people are people, there are plenty of (anecdotal) stories of “peeking”(and then some!)…..

      BTW, the follow up book, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” was written with the dedication by Husseini containing obvious respect and admiration for the his mother. It is a culture that baffles AND fascinates me. So so so violent, so so so misogynistic… so so so backwards….. Yet somehow viable in the 21st century….

      21st century…. Damn, aren’t we past the degradation and hate? I guess not.

      In reply to #9 by ZedBee:

      I am not trying to stir things up, nevertheless, I would like to know this: When a Muslim man proposes, is he allowed to see what’s underneath his betrothed tent, or does he have to take the matchmaker’s word for it?

      • In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

        If there is an answer to your question, “aren’t we past the degradation and hate?” then it must be NO. Read Tacitus, Paine, Pepys, Burke, Hitler, Shirer, or Churchill, and you will hardly find, even among nations with similar cultures, a kind word said about each other. When the cultures are centuries apart, the output of degradation and hate is multiplied a thousand-fold. That may be unfortunate, but it is, in my opinion, not half as bad as when we indulge in a loathsome practice for decades or centuries, be it slavery, or forcing opium on the Chinese, or stealing other people’s land and property, or preventing women from having the vote, then, for one reason or another, we stop the odious practice, we expect all others on the planet to follow suit immediately, or else we call them savages. That to me is a bit rich.

      • In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

        If there is an answer to your question, “aren’t we past the degradation and hate?” then it must be a resounding NO. Read Tacitus, Paine, Pepys, Burke, Hitler, Shirer, or Churchill, and you will hardly find, even among nations of similar cultures, a kind word said about each other. When the cultures are centuries apart, the output of degradation and hate is multiplied a thousand-fold. That may be unfortunate, but it is, in my opinion, not half as bad as when we indulge in a loathsome practice for centuries, be it slavery, or forcing opium on the Chinese, or stealing other people’s land and property, or preventing women from having the vote, then, for one reason or another, we stop the practice suddenly, we expect all others on the planet to follow suit immediately, or else we call them savages. That to me is a bit rich.

    • In reply to #9 by ZedBee:

      I am not trying to stir things up, nevertheless, I would like to know this: When a Muslim man proposes, is he allowed to see what’s underneath his betrothed tent, or does he have to take the matchmaker’s word for it?

      Sexual compatibility is not the goal in arranged marriages. There is no need in that case to see anything at all.

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