Marriage: the ultimate example of a woman’s right to choose

Somaiya Begum was twenty. She was a student of biomedicine at Leeds Beckett University. If that’s not promise, we don’t know what is. Instead, she was murdered with an 28 cm steel bradawl, and her body left to rot. The motive? She had refused to marry a much older man from Pakistan, chosen for her by her family. Not her choice, they decided. [1] Yesterday her uncle Taroos Khan was convicted of the murder. Some uncle!

But monsters like Khan are the tip of an iceberg. Forced marriage is one of the commonest forms of human trafficking (that’s “slavery” to us). Of the 40.3 million slaves around the world, 15.4 millions are in forced marriages according to Human Trafficking Search [2] There’s hundreds, of not thousands of predators like Khan prowling the world now. Of all the threats to female emancipation, this is the most insidious, because it is so common. And so accepted in some cultures.

LSS readers, you know where we stand. The emancipation of women is the emancipation of us all. Who you marry, who you sleep with, goddammit, is the most basic choice of all. And this time you can do something about it. Try clicking on the website our girl [3] where you can get  facts, figures and media streams and see if you can help. It could be your daughter, sister or friend who’s next. Please!




#somaiya begum #taroos khan #arranged marriage #forced marriage #women #trafficking #bradford

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