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Involuntary Marriages From a Human Rights Perspective: Towards an Analytical Framework

Journal: The Journal of Mesopotamian Studies (JMS) (Vol.3, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 95-120

Keywords : Involuntary marriage; arranged marriage; child marriage; forced marriage;

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The aim of this article is to develop an analytical framework for understanding involuntary marriages from a human rights perspective based on the United Nations' human rights conventions and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The empirical material used as a basis for an analytical framework consists of 16 thematic open-ended interviews with Kurds in Sweden. A total of eight of the 16 respondents were below 18 years of age when they married. The results from these interviews show that the majority of interviewees' marriages are arranged. The results also show that the reasons behind these marriages and the consequences of them are complex and go beyond being mere expressions of gender roles. In addition to the fathers who typically have greater influence than the mothers do, there are differences in power and influence among women as well, such as mothers' power over daughters and step-mothers' power over step-daughters. Therefore, there is a need for new and wider perspectives on involuntary marriages, and the analytical framework developed in this article is a part of such a purpose.

Last modified: 2018-05-03 04:06:54