Feb 14 2013 by Caitlin Black, Harrow Observer
A NEW initiative has been launched by a women’s charity to try to tackle forced marriages.
The Mujboor campaign, which means ‘forced’ in Urdu, has been introduced to Brent by the JAN Trust, which aims to roll it out across the rest of London.
According to a survey carried out in 2011 by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (Forced Marriage Unit), 56 per cent of victims in the UK are under the age of 21, and 29 per cent are under the age of 17.
The trust hopes that by carrying out workshops and seminars in schools, colleges, and in organisations catering for ethnic minority communities, it will reach out to students and teachers and parents in affected communities.
The campaign was founded by Sajda Mughal, project director at JAN Trust, who said: “We want to raise awareness on this inhumane act and educate women and girls about their rights.
At the same time we want mothers to be able to support their daughters by giving them correct information which clearly states that a forced marriage is not an act permitted by Islam.
“Changing behaviours and attitudes that lead to the abuse must be done at a local level and it is a project such as Mujboor that will make a difference.”
The seminars aimed at teachers hope to sensitise them to the issue of forced marriages and help them to spot potential victims, while the seminars for students aim to educate them about forced marriages and the warning signs.
JAN Trust has been established for 24 years, providing leadership for black, Asian, minority ethnic, and refugee and asylum-seeking women. It promotes women’s rights and is part of the Foreign Commonwealth Office’s Forced Marriage Unit Partnership Board.
n For more information about the charity see http://jantrust.org/.