Arranged Marriage: A violation of human rights?
December 7, 2011
Do arranged marriages violate human rights as they are protected by international humanitarian law? Marriage is a vital part of the social and economic life of a person’s life. It forms the foundation for a continued family line, and the backdrop for raising children. In most societies, marriage is an important relation both between the two people and between the person and the society, and there are many rituals and traditions tied to the marriage. In many parts of the world, arranged marriages are still common, and are the expected and accepted way to find someone to share a lifetime with. Definition
A definitive distinction between arranged marriages and forced marriages is difficult to define, as the division is fluid. One distinction is to say that arranged marriages are marriages planned by parents, guardians and brokers, based on what they believe is the best for the spouses, but in this case, the intended future spouses hold the final say in whether to go through with the union of marriage. Forced marriages, on the other hand, completely lack the element of free consent, either by lack of given consent or because consent is given under duress. The right to refuse an arranged marriage is perhaps not part of reality, since the spouses are brought up in a family environment where forced marriages are expected, and family bonds have powerful sway over individual decisions. “The question that arises, therefore, is essentially to establish whether one or both future spouses have consented, and if so, whether the consent was full and free with the aim of entering into married life” (Zapfl-Helbling, 2005).
Because marriage is such an important part of human life, it is discussed and described in religious writings. Arranged marriages have been instrumental in maintaining royal families and dynasties through history, and in some cultures, such as the Indian, arranged marriages are still common. Marriage in the Bible
At the time of many of the stories in the Bible, arranged marriages were very common. The pair that was to be married often had little power in deciding who they would marry; they would have to do as their parents decided. In the same way as in royal families, marriage tied groups together in alliances, bringing different communities together. Several verses in the Bible refer to women being given by their fathers to men in order to create alliances, in a sign of good faith and friendship, or as a reward. The Bible does not directly set forth rules governing arranged or forced marriages. The same is true in other religions, such as Islam. Genesis 24 speaks of an arranged marriage, where a servant is sent to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac. Rebekah is brought from her homeland to marry Isaac. She is given to Abraham’s servant by her father Bethuel and brother Laban, to marry a man she has never met. Isaac is in the same situation as Rebekah, since he also does not know the woman he will marry (The Holy Bible).
Marriage in Islam
While the Qur’an does not directly discuss arranged marriages, Islamic law and the writings about the Prophet’s teachings do mention the subject. In these writings, forced marriages are very clearly forbidden, but arranged marriages in the understanding that both potential partners have the opportunity to refuse the marriage, is not banned.
The family helps find a suitable candidate for marriage, and arrange meetings between the prospective spouses. Dating in the Western sense is not allowed in Islam, since two people of the opposite sex who are not related or married are not allowed to be alone together. “Whenever a man is alone with a woman, Satan is the third among them” (Dodge, 2003). Dates are always chaperoned by family members to prevent anything inappropriate from happening between the courting couple. If, at the end of the courting process, the pair...
...Child marriage is a serious form of humanrightsviolation affecting young girls globally. It was estimated 10 million girls under the age of 18 get married every year (Bruce & Clark 2004) and according to Population Council Analysis of United Nations Country Data on Marriage (2002), more than 100 million girls will get married in the next decade if the current pattern persists. Girls who are disproportionately the most affected by this inhumane practice suffer tremendously. It is unreasonable such practice that robs away a girl's childhood can exist, considering the devastating effects such as physical and psychological damages, severe health consequences and denial of personal development.
1.1 Physical and Psychological Damages
Many young girls who are being forced into marriage face abuse and violence as their daily reality, yet most of them believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife (Jenson & Thornton 2003). For example, in Kenya, 36 percent of girls married before 18 consider the action of a husband beating his wife is acceptable as compared to 20 percent of married women (UNICEF 2005). Prolonged violence behaviours towards child brides including coercive sex, verbal abuse, slapping and beatings cause them to be emotionally affected and undergo post-traumatic stress. According to Khan and Lynch (1997), such symptoms are like feeling of hopelessness,...
...ArrangedMarriages: Wrong or Right?
There is a wide spread global dispute about the topic of arrangedmarriages, many arguing that it is wrong, forced, and inhuman, while others defend them stating that they are socially and traditionally correct with their societies. Both sides fight frivolously and are on complete opposite sides of the argument, but what are the facts? Are arrangedmarriagesright or wrong?
Arrangedmarriages are believed to have been practiced since the dawn of man's existence, and they are still around even today, being practiced in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries (Professor's House). An arrangedmarriage, as defined by Paul B. Mehndiratta from the Department of Neurology is, “one where parents choose marital partners for their children.” (Mehndiratta 2007). For the most part, in ancient times, arrangedmarriages were used to seal a pact between two families, or in larger terms, they were used to seal a pact between countries in which two royal members were betrothed (History of ArrangedMarriages 2007). In countries where arrangedmarriage is practiced, it is as normal as freedom of marriage is to Americans. It is an age long tradition that happened for a variety of...
Dr. Alina Gharabegian
In the world we live in, human beings rely on their socialization skills to survive. These social skills help them to develop interpersonal relationships with each other. One of the main intimate relationships that developed over time is the bond between a man and a woman. This union became sacred in society, and a term “marriage” developed. In their book, The Ties that Bind: Perspectives on Marriage and Cohabitation, Bachrach, Hindin, and Thomson define marriage “as a legally and socially recognized union, ideally lifelong, that entails sexual, economic, social rights and obligations for the partners” (3-16). Since the evolution of marriages, there have also been arrangedmarriages. This can be seen as the arrangement of a marriage by a third party, usually by the couple’s parents. Arrangedmarriages may lead to a longer lasting relationship than non-arrangedmarriages, because the success of the marriage is stronger with a support system, since the parents, community, religion, and cultural background are involved in making and sustaining the marriage bond.
Initially one might believe that arrangedmarriages are a distinct feature of the eastern societies but the western societies also have...
...Violations of HumanRights: Beyond the Gates
The film, Beyond the Gates, shows audiences the horror that took place during the Rwandan genocide. Shot in the same area as the actual genocide took place, the film tells the story of the Hutu extremist attempt at destroying the countries minority group known as the Tutsi. Many humanrightsviolations were shown in this movie, shedding light on the real issue of how the international community failed to intervene during this time of crisis and prevent the deaths of thousands of people. A few examples of humanrightsviolations during this movie will be discussed in order to create awareness about the many humanrights that were violated during the actual Rwandan genocide.
Beyond the Gates takes place in Rwanda during the time when the country’s president is shot and killed in 1994. The characters in this film are located in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. The majority of the film takes place in a secondary school located in Kigali known as The Ecole Technique Officielle. The school becomes a refugee camp for the Tutsi people during the genocide because the UN peacekeepers are stationed here and catholic priests run the school. The Tutsi feel safe at the school from the Hutu extremists. One of the main characters is Father Christopher, the catholic priest who runs the school....
...HumanRightsViolations in Uganda
According to Article One of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights set forth by the United Nations, “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” The interconnectedness in the world produces a new agenda of international issues which affect both powerful and less powerful countries. The doctrine of humanrights aspires to provide the contemporary, allegedly post-ideological, geo-political order with a common framework for determining the basic economic, political, and social conditions required for all individuals to lead a minimally good life (Bova). The effectiveness of promoting and protecting humanrights is significantly aided by individual nation-states’ legally recognizing the doctrine. The moral justification of humanrights is thought to precede considerations of strict national sovereignty (Bova). For many of its supporters, the doctrine of humanrights aims to provide a fundamentally legitimate moral basis for regulating the contemporary geo-political order.
The issue of humanrightsviolations has been prominent in many societies and states for...
...Throughout history, people's humanrights have been violated, but efforts have also been made to address the violations, and protect their rights. Humanrights are rights as regarded belonging to all people. Today we are all entitled to the same rights. In a sense, we are all equal.
Humanrights are rights and liberties that are guaranteed to everyone at birth. On December 10th 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of HumanRights. It was made for every living human in this world to follow and obey. These rights originated after World War II because they don't want such inhumanity event to ever occur again. So by the world agreeing to this declaration it is almost sure the lives of so many people isn't to be lost again for unnecessa,ry reasons. The main purpose of these rights are to enforce balanced rights of all people. Making sure that all humans have the right o freedom, justice, and peace in the world. It also says that everyone has the right to nationality, religion, and his or her own opinion [Document 1]. Despite the holocaust, abuses of humanrights have continued in the post-World War 2 era.
...Abortion: A Violation of HumanRights?
A medical procedure designed to end a pregnancy is called an abortion. Why a woman would no longer want to be pregnant after conception is a question of many answers in which only the individual woman can answer. Some people are against abortions and believe for one reason or another they should not take place. Others argue, saying that because the pregnancy exists within their body they have the right to do with it as they please, regardless of how it affects the fetus inside of them. Thus the argument begins, pro- or anti-abortion.
Here in the United States there are two different methods of abortions. A woman can either end her pregnancy by taking medicine (called medical abortion) or having surgery (called surgical abortion) (National Institute of Health; Medline Plus). The method of medical abortion involves a two-part medication which is ingested orally at different time intervals and requires the woman be less than eight weeks pregnant. The first part called mifepristone is given to the woman by a doctor. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone needed to maintain the pregnancy. The second part of the medicine called misoprostol is taken twenty four to seventy two hours after the first. Misoprostol causes contractions resulting in a miscarriage. With the later addition of the second medication the uterus contracts and the pregnancy is...
The Holocaust in World War II, the Rwandan genocide and Stalin’s forced famine violated humanrights. Humanrights are natural rights that let you live an average life in society like everybody else in the world. These tragic events stripped people of their very basic right to life. Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. The Holocaust began on June 25, 1941. It was the murder of six million Jews in Germany by the Nazi’s. The Holocaust ended on May 8, 1945. The Rwanda genocide began on April 7, 1994 where 800,000 Tutsi’s were killed by Hutu’s. The Rwanda genocide ended in July, 1994. Stalin’s forced famine began in 1932 where the entire kulak class was destroyed. Stalin’s forced famine ended in 1933.
The Holocaust was a time in history where darkness had occurred. During the next six years of the Holocaust, the Nazi’s undertook an “Aryanization of Germany dismissing now-Germans from civil service, liquidating Jewish owned businesses and stripping Jewish lawyers and doctors of their clients.” Huge Nazi rallies and acts such as the public burning of books by Jews, Communists, Liberals, and foreigners helped show the message of party strength (all about the Holocaust, 1). Starting in 1941,...