Emerging issues for international family law Part 1: transnational marriage abandonment as a form of domestic violence

Anitha, Sundari, Patel, Pragna, Handa, Radhika and Jahangir, Sulema (2016) Emerging issues for international family law Part 1: transnational marriage abandonment as a form of domestic violence. Family Law Journal, 46 (10). pp. 1247-1252. ISSN 0014-7281

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Emerging issues for international family law Part I: Transnational marriage abandonment as a form of domestic violence

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In an era of increasing migration and transnational marriages, we highlight a growing problem encountered by organisations working with black and minority ethnic women and by international family law practitioners in what is the first in a series of three papers on this subject. This article draws upon original research conducted in India, contributions from legal practitioners in Pakistan, Bangladesh and the UK as well as the experience of Southall Black Sisters (SBS) to examine the problem of transnational marriage abandonment of wives in South Asia, also known as ‘stranded spouses’. We outline the forms that such abandonment takes and the consequences – our focus on women reflects the gendered nature of this problem as legal practitioners do not encounter cases of abandoned men. The research findings and practitioners’ experiences suggest that cultural practices like dowry and dominant social norms which make for patriarchal control and devaluation of women played an important role in the violence and abandonment experienced. More crucially, perhaps, the gaps and inconsistencies in national and transnational legal mechanisms serve to create transnational brides as a particularly vulnerable category of women who can be abused and exploited with impunity. While case law suggests that legal practitioners in England are already grappling with particular aspects this issue, we also suggest a range of broader solutions to this problem.

Keywords:international family law, marriage and migration, domestic violence, immigration, JCOpen
Subjects:M Law > M990 Law not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:24193
Deposited On:20 Sep 2016 20:28

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