Criticism about the Azeri forced marriage tradition from early 20th-century satirical periodical Molla Nasraddin. The dating for gifte folk should be read from right to left. Unequal marriage, a 19th-century painting by Russian artist Pukirev. It depicts an arranged marriage where a young girl is forced to marry against her will.
Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or more of the parties is married without their consent or against their will. The United Nations views forced marriage as a form of human rights abuse, since it violates the principle of the freedom and autonomy of individuals. Marriages throughout history were arranged between families, especially before the 18th century. The practices varied by culture, but usually involved the legal transfer of dependency of the woman from her father to the groom. The line between arranged and forced marriage is however often difficult to draw, due to the implied familial and social pressure to accept the marriage and obey one’s parents in all respects. In Europe, during the late 18th century and early 19th century, the literary and intellectual movement of romanticism presented new and progressive ideas about love marriage, which started to gain acceptance in society.
In the 19th century, marriage practices varied across Europe, but in general, arranged marriages were more common among the upper class. In Western countries, during the past decades, the nature of marriage—especially with regard to the importance of marital procreation and the ease of divorce—has changed dramatically, which has led to less social and familial pressure to get married, providing more freedom of choice in regard to choosing a spouse. One example is the English blacksmith John R. Forced marriage was also practiced by authoritarian governments as a way to meet population targets. The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia systematically forced people into marriages, in order to increase the population and continue the revolution. These marriage ceremonies consisted of no fewer than three couples and could be as large as 160 couples. Generally, the village chief or a senior leader of the community would approach both parties and inform them that they were to be married and the time and place the marriage would occur.
Often, the marriage ceremony would be the first time the future spouses would meet. In the 21st century, forced marriages have come to attention in European countries, within the context of immigration from cultures in which they are common. Parties shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that marriages concluded under force may be voidable, annulled or dissolved without undue financial or administrative burden placed on the victim. 1 Parties shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the intentional conduct of forcing an adult or a child to enter into a marriage is criminalised. 2 Parties shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the intentional conduct of luring an adult or a child to the territory of a Party or State other than the one she or he resides in with the purpose of forcing this adult or child to enter into a marriage is criminalised.
There are numerous factors which can lead to a culture which accepts and encourages forced marriages. Early and forced marriages can contribute to girls being placed in a cycle of poverty and powerlessness. Most are likely to experience mistreatment such as violence, abuse and forced sexual relations. This means that women who marry younger in age are more likely to be dominated by their husbands. They also experience poor sexual and reproductive health.