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David Cameron learns about ‘honour’ crimes from Roehampton professor

Prime Minister David Cameron has learnt about issues surrounding forced marriage and violence against women from Roehampton’s Professor Aisha K. Gill, during a Downing Street event.

Posted: 22 March 2016

image for news story David Cameron learns about ‘honour’ crimes from Roehampton professor
Aisha Gill discusses her research into 'honour' crimes with the Prime Minister, and presents him with a copy of the Feminist Review journal.

Professor Gill, a Criminologist at the University, has spent many years studying and campaigning for improved approaches to issues women in mainly black and minority, ethnic and refugee communities suffer, and the difficulties they face in reporting violence and abuse. Her research has influenced Government policy and raised awareness across the country about unequal relationships and the impact they have on women.

These type of issues are debated in the current edition of the Feminist Review journal which Professor Gill has co-edited, and which she presented to the Prime Minister when they met.

She said: “David Cameron was very interested to hear about the work being done to raise awareness of the extreme difficulty black and minority, ethnic and refugee women and girls can face in dealing with domestic violence and the issues surrounding ‘honour’ crimes.

“One of the major stumbling blocks for women is the insufficient co-ordination of legal, health and social services for victims of violence, and I’m hopeful the Prime Minister will think about how this can best be dealt with and make a long term commitment to ring fence funding for specialist BME refuges.”

Professor Gill has previously won an Economic and Social Research Council award paying tribute to the impact of her work on public policy. Her research and expertise has also contributed to:

  • Legislation including the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.
  • Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary documentation of the experiences of victims/survivors of ‘honour’-based violence, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • Relevant parts of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, which criminalised forced marriage in June 2015.

Her meeting with the Prime Minister was part of a Downing Street-led event to celebrate International Women’s Day earlier this month.

The current edition of Feminist Review explores the complicity of social structures, men’s perceptions and everyday practices in the perpetuation of gender-based violence. The papers are based on the premise that understanding gendered violence requires people to pay close attention to a cycle that begins in the everyday. However, the articles also make the point that there is a need to understand how everyday violence is linked to governmental and institutional decisions, so that challenges to gendered violence must be exerted at every level, from the local to the international. 

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