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Fewer forced marriages among immigrant women and daughters of immigrants

Population and Societies

479, June 2011

Are forced marriages common in France? Are their numbers falling or increasing? Who is concerned by these marriages? Until now, no recent quantitative data were available to answer these questions, but this knowledge gap has now been filled thanks to the Trajectories and Origins survey conducted by the French National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) and the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). Christelle Hamel presents its initial findings on forced marriage among immigrant women and the daughters of immigrants.
The Trajectories and Origins survey gathered information on respondents’ conditions of marriage, making it possibleto identify cases of "non-consensual" marriage. These are unwanted marriages, initiated by the spouse or the family,but contracted in response to psychological, social or physical coercion. For 9% of immigrant women aged 51-60 in 2008, their first marriage was contracted against their will. Theproportion is lower among younger immigrant women (2% in the 26-30 age group) and among the daughters ofimmigrants (1% of the 26-30 age group). Non-consensual marriage is most frequent among immigrant women from countries and regions where singlehood is frowned upon andpremarital sexuality prohibited, such as Turkey, North Africa and Sahelian Africa.

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