Amsterdam: Forced marriages less common

Forced marriages are discussed more and more by Turks and Moroccans in Amsterdam.  They more often think it's obvious that they themselves can choose their partners.  Often they think that forced marriage is of times gone by.

This according to a study of forced marriages and attitudes towards such marriages among various ethnic groups in Amsterdam by anthropologists Edien Batels and Oka Storms of the Free University.

In particular people with a high education and high income often want to choose their own partner.  The longer parents live in the Netherlands, the more normal they find it that their children will decide on their own who they will marry.

Among Kurds, Hindus and Pakistanis, arranged marriages are still the norm.  This form of marriage is also under pressure.  Among Afghans there's barely any discussion about it.  The researchers found cases of forced marriages among all groups.

They further say that there are more and more mixed couples.  Not so much immigrants marrying ethnic Dutch but for example Turks and Moroccans who marry each other.  They think the origin of their partner is less important, but put more emphasis on the partner's religion.

Together with the Movisie knowledge center, the anthropologists made a number of recommendations to the government on how to confront forced marriages.  One of those is to set up an information and reporting help-line.  There must also be more places in shelters for people who are forced to get married.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

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