Clubs across the UK were asked to take part in a nationwide consultation on forced marriage. The Government launched a consultation as to whether forced marriage should be a criminal offence rather than a civil offence. This is another amazing example of how the network of clubs across can be a global voice for women who are otherwise silenced.
One Club Programme Action working group discussed the Home Office consultation document. Members then accessed sites and newspapers for background to the issues. Later a consensus was taken of members present in order to respond to the document. In depth discussions were continued by the working group. Findings were reported back to the Club. One member responded to the online consultation on behalf of the club. Other members filled in lobbying postcards to be forwarded to the organising club.
One club shared that “forced marriage is an abuse of human rights and if legislation comes into force making it a criminal offence it will give out a clear message to all that forced marriage will not be tolerated and raise awareness of the issues amongst everyone concerned.”
Another club had a briefing from Professor Rebecca Probert from Warwick University, followed by group discussions. They then filled in post cards to send to the Prime Minister at our monthly business meeting.
Some clubs ran workshops and gave talks to other groups.
This small project of petitioning helped us to focus on this very important issue nationwide – the support and education of women in this matter is critical – we as Soroptimists need to continue to give the project leader our backing.”
Club: SI Bilston and District supported by clubs throughout the UK, PFR: 26291
- National lobbying is an exceptional activity for Soroptimists – using their presence as a global voice to advocate for women and girls in need.
- With this national call to action, each participating club found different ways to educate themselves about the issue before adding their voice to the campaign – lectures, talks, research, and workshops.
- Each small action adds up – alone they may not have much impact, but together the change Soroptimists can affect is limitless.