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The workshops helping women stand up to forced marriage

The Muslim Women’s Network UK (MWNUK) is holding workshops across England in an attempt to come up with ideas on how to eradicate the problem.

The Birmingham-based charity, which aims to empower women and girls, is concerned that it still receives calls from teenagers who are being pressurised to marry against their will.

“It is still a huge problem, it is entrenched in culture,” said Faeeza Vaid, MWNUK executive director.

“We all need to be unified to say it [forced marriage] is against the law, human rights and an injustice.” Forced marriage was outlawed in June 2014 in England and Wales. Scotland passed similar legislation in September 2014 and it was made an offence in Northern Ireland in January this year.

Anyone found guilty of forcing a person to wed could face up to seven years in prison. But MWNUK says young people are still being coerced into marriage and incidents are hugely under-reported.

The government’s Forced Marriage Unit says it dealt with 1,267 cases in the UK last year.

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