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More Pakistani Women Helped Against Forced Marriages


Forced marriage is the ugly flip side of arranged marriage, a widespread and valued tradition in South Asia. In arranged marriages, parents typically help their son or daughter choose a suitable partner — often along lines of class, education, or wealth — but leave the ultimate decision to the child. Forced marriage, however, has no consent, just a brutally imposed social contract. The problem is widespread in the region, said Khalida Salimi of Struggle for Change, a Pakistani women’s organization. The Pakistani government indirectly supports the rescues by providing local police assistance; an armed guard from the embassy comes along, too.