Volume 3, Issue 1

 

 

Editorial Collective Report

– Dr. Ambika Kohli, Dr. Rabia Ali & Johanna Higgs

 

The Marxist analysis of Manjula Padmanabhan’s “Lights Out”

– G Vasishta Bhargavi

Social commentary: Horrible truth behind the lives of mentally challenged women: A follow up

– Suman Ramavat

Literature review: Humour: As a tool for gender construction and
deconstruction

– Sabah-Al-Mushtaq

Reproductive health status of scheduled and non-scheduled castes women of
Ludhiana district in Punjab

– Nishu Sharma & Dr. Shalini Sharma

Voices of dissent in the poetry of Imtiaz Dharker

– Soma Das

Volume2, Issue 1

Rehabilitation of Mentally Ill Women in India

Suman Ramarat

Mapping Step by Step Metamorphosis of Janie Crawford in

Zora Neala Hurston’s their Eyes Were Watching God.

Surinder kaur

Not all victims of rape will be recognised as such in the

eyes of the law

Wenluan Chi

Portrayal of Sexuality in the Age of Solemnity

Salma Javed

Obergefell v. Hodges and the
Judicialization of Same-Sex Marriage in America:

Legalizing the Impossible.

Dr. Aloy Ojilere

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST STUDIES

ISSN 2463-2945

Volume 1, Issue 1

Volume 1, Issue 1

Forced and Underage Marriages in New Zealand: Some Reflections on Public and Private Patriarchy and Intersectionality

Ambika Kohli

<br/>

Lifestyle of Working Women in Modern Organizations: Implications on Health

Aisha Bhatti and Dr. Rabia Ali

<br/>

Dealing with allegations of violence against women in a multicultural environment: Consideration of approach(es) and procedure(s) with regards to abuse allegations of women of an Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin in New Zealand

Sandra Iskander

<br/>

Leaders in the desert: The Sahrawi women of Western Sahara

– Johanna Higgs and Dr. Christine Ryan

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Editorial Collective Report

Editorial collective team

Macy Santo Macy was born in the Philippines and grew up in Wellington city. She graduated from Canterbury University in 2013 and has since moved to Germany where she works as an English Professor at Bremen University and a freelance writer. Macy has always been interested in feminist issues, especially issues concerning women of colour.

Ambika Kohli Ambika Kohli is currently doing her PhD from University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She did her graduation from Delhi University, India and her post-graduation from University of Basque Country, Spain. Her research interests are violence in society, violence against women, women in southern countries, reproductive agency, agency and structure, women’s empowerment within their socio-cultural settings.

Johanna Higgs Johanna has a Masters degree in International Development and is currently working on her PhD in Anthropology about the child combatants of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) in Colombia. She has travelled through many parts of the world including the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Europe. She has a passion for women’s rights and founded the organization Project Monma which advocates for women’s rights around the world.

Women of the Sahara-4

International Journal for Intersectional Feminist Studies, Volume 1, September 2015,ISSN 2463-2945
International journal for intersectional feminist studies
The Journal of Project Monma Research Centre
Volume 1, September2015
ISSN 2463-2945

To cite this article
Johanna Higgs & Christine Ryan, Leaders in the desert: The Sahrawi women of Western Sahara, International journal for intersectional feminist studies, 1, pp. 29-39
International Journal for Intersectional Feminist Studies, Volume 1, September 2015,
ISSN 2463-2945
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Leaders in the desert: The Sahrawi women of Western Sahara
Johanna Higgs & Dr. Christine Ryan

Abstract
This report is based on research conducted in the Sahrawi refugee camps in southern Algeria in September of 2014. As two anthropologists we travelled to the refugee camps near Tindouf in southern Algeria to learn more about the leaders of the camps who we had heard were predominantly women. The Sahrawi became refugees after the Moroccans invaded Western Sahara after the Spanish withdrew as a colonial power in 1975 starting the Sahrawis long struggle for independence. Throughout our research in the camps women did not speak of violence or of rape. They did not complain of harassment or physical violence from their husbands. They instead spoke of the burning heat, the difficulties of not having enough water and their struggles for independence. The governing body of the Sahrawi, the Polisario Front was built with women’s equality being one of the strongest features of their social organization and that women’s equality was the dominant theme of life in the Sahrawi camps. Islam has also played a key role in the empowerment of women as the Sahrawi understand Islam as acknowledging men and women equally throughout the Koran and that Islam calls for the respect of women. Thus the example of the Sahrawi demonstrates that the equality amongst men is not only possible but that it is possible regardless of environment, culture or religion.
Keywords: Women, Sahrawi, Islam, empowerment, Algeria

Introduction
Despite the long suffering of the Sahrawi people due to years of struggle to reclaim their land from the Moroccans, the Sahrawi have one dominant strength; gender equality. As two anthropologists and activists we had heard that the Sahrawi community living in refugee camps in Algeria was not only matriarchal but also that the majority of the leaders were women. We went to the southwest of Algeria to stay in the Sahrawi refugee camps to learn more about how women have gained significant positions of power. We found that the Sahrawi people living in the refugee camps near Tindouf in southern Algeria are Muslims where women are in charge of the daily running of the camps. Life is difficult in the camps yet we did not hear women complain about violence and discrimination; instead they spoke about the struggles of living in the camps and wanting to go back to their homeland. Their position within the camps is fully supported by Polisario, the governing body of the Sahrawi and their powerful position is thought to be linked to their culture and traditions as well as women’s active participation in the armed conflicts. We were told that their version of Islam calls for
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the respect of all women. We were told that Islam is a religion of peace and does not tolerate violence against women. Thus, this report explores how regardless of religion or difficult situations women can live within societies where violence and discrimination not only does not exist but is not justified due to environmental factors.

Methodology
We arranged to stay in one of the refugee camps in the southwestern region of the Sahara desert, which houses thousands of Sahrawi people who fled their homeland decades ago. We first contacted representatives of the Polisario Front in Australia, the Sahrawi national liberation movement, which oversees the camps. The Polisario set us up to live with a family so that we would be able to learn about women’s roles within the camps, where traditional Muslim rules abide. As two anthropologists hailing from Australia and Latvia, we had heard that the camps, which house about 50, 000 people were primarily run by women. Our goal was to learn more about this dynamic and how Sahrawi women have gained significant power within their society.
In early September we arrived in the early hours of the morning at the tiny airport of Tindouf, the closest town to the camps. After clearing immigration we moved into the waiting area where we saw large groups of white African women sitting around in brightly coloured robes. We were eventually approached by one of the representatives from the Sahrawi camps and were led outside to a jeep with an older man who spoke to us in Spanish, the second language of the Saharawi people after Arabic. We were driven to the camps in an armed convoy along with a number of other jeeps carrying foreigners. Algeria has had problems with kidnappings and terrorism in the past and although there has been a decline in terrorism in recent years, it has not dissipated completely (Le Seur, 2010). This became very real to us a few days after our return from the camps to the capital city Algiers, as a French man was kidnapped and killed by the Islamic wing of Al Qaeda just outside the capital (BBC).
Our arrival into the camps was surreal. After leaving the armed convoy to enter the camp that would be our home for the next two weeks, we were able to see through the moonlight the mud structures of the small houses that were spread over the vast desert land. We were taken to a small home made from mud and timber that would be our home for the next two weeks. As we stepped out of the truck, we were greeted by a smiling woman called Selma who would be our host mother for our stay along with her
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husband and three children. We were led through the mud door into their home which consisted of several rooms that were separated by outside sand corridors. We were surprised to see that they had a television and electricity and we later found out that this was the only camp out of all the camps in the area that had electricity. There was a small kitchen and a small bathroom with a little tub that was left filled with water that we used sparingly each day due to the shortages of water in the camps. There were two living areas, one which had the television and the other which we came to learn was the most valuable, the one with the very old, but still functioning air conditioning.
Life in the camps required tolerating incredible heat. On a good day it would be 40 degrees Celsius but most days it was 42 to 45 degrees Celsius. Wherever you stood the desert stretched beyond the horizon and blended into the sandy brown buildings where the refugees live. The only burst of color came from the bright robes the women draped over themselves. We too draped ourselves in the robes but we avoided wearing scarves on our heads and the thick woolen gloves the women wore, even inside their home. The intense sun meant they covered every inch of their body to protect themselves. The Union Nacional de Mujeres Sahrawis (National Union of Sahrawi Women – UNMS) was in charge of our stay and organized a translator for us who came to our home each day to take us to our interviews. We were able to meet with a number of Polisario representatives as well as many members of the community and held our interviews in homes, shops and offices.

Sahrawi history
The Sahrawi struggle with Morocco first began in 1974 with the departure of the Spanish. Spain colonized Western Sahara for almost a century and in the 1950s and ’60s exploited its phosphate riches and forcibly settled most of the nomadic Sahrawi in cities (Cyr, 2001, pp. 349). By 1973, many Sahrawi began to join the Polisario Front, which had been founded to fight against the Spanish. The Spanish finally withdrew as a colonial power in 1975 however, on the eve of Sahrawi independence, Morocco invaded Western Sahara and as a result many Sahrawi fled to refuges in southwest Algeria suffering aerial attacks from Moroccan aircraft which sprayed white phosphorous and Napalm on the fleeing refugees (Ramdan and Smith, 1992).
The Sahrawi women primarily took charge of those fleeing the major towns of Western Sahara and organized shelter, supplies and protection for the refugees who were mostly
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women and children (Lippert, 1992, pp. 642). Many, especially the children had been traumatized by homelessness, hunger, thirst and air attacks before their arrival in Algeria (Lippert, 1992, pp. 646). The refugees not only had to deal with the harsh conditions of the desert but also with the trauma of being separated from loved ones. Many of the inhabitants had seen family members killed before their eyes and others had been wounded. There was little water and it had to be trucked in for most of the refugees, as there were only one or two wells. In the early days there was not enough food and there was no medicine to care for the ill. Women organized a health infrastructure in the camps, which still stands with a number of small health care centers and two general hospitals in Rabuni (Belloso and Mendina, 2008, pp.168).
After the camps had been built the Polisario Front officially established itself as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Bir Lehlu on February 27th of 1976 and has since formally been recognized by over seventy five nations. They declared a National Liberation War, initially on Mauritania and later on Morocco after the Mauritanian retreat in 1979. War between the two countries continued until 1991 when a cease-fire was signed (Asprey, 2002, pp.1179). The United Nations sent a special mission to monitor the cease-fire agreement and to organize a referendum which would allow the people of the Western Sahara to decide their future status (Belloso and Mendina, 2008, pp.163). The Polisario Front also began to initiate social reforms within the camps at this time, including promoting the equal participation of women (Ramdan and Smith: 1992). The Union Nacional de Mujeres Sahrawis (National Union of Sahrawi Women – UNMS) was established initially with the Polisario Front to organize women’s participation against Spanish rule and has developed into an organization that continues to advance women’s place in Sahrawi society. The Polisario Front has supported this traditional role and promised expanded roles for women in a liberated Western Sahara as a major policy direction of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (1992:637). The UNMS has become one of the primary institutions for the administration of the Sahrawi refugee camps. Despite the harsh desert conditions, these camps demonstrate the remarkable achievements of Sahrawi women within the camps including administration and justice, education, health care, agriculture, and production and development (Ramdan and Smith, 1992).

The strength of the Sahrawi women
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Perhaps one of the most defining factors of the Sahrawi community is that they claim there is no violence against women within their society. Throughout our time in the camps when we asked about the struggles of women living in the camp, they never spoke of violence or of rape. They did not complain of harassment or physical violence from their husbands. Like us, they spoke of the burning heat and the difficulties of not having enough water but mostly they spoke about their struggles for independence. “We’re not here for a better life, we’re here for a safer life,” said one woman we met, referring to the most difficult conditions in Western Sahara. During our time with the Sahrawi we certainly noted that due to the sun and difficulty in accessing resources life in the camp was very difficult however, we also saw that the camp was completely run by women and the majority of government ministers that we met were women. We were told that it was considered shameful for a man to hurt a woman,that men and women were treated equally and women were able to access higher positions within Saharan society.
The high levels of equality within Sahrawi have been noted by a number of groups. Harrell Bond reported that the Polisario Front was built with women’s equality being one of the strongest features of their social organization and that women’s equality was the dominant theme of life in the Sahrawi camps (cited in Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, 2010, pp.67). In the mid 1980s Oxfam commented that perhaps the most impressive thing about Sahrawi society was its balance in terms of the relationship between men and women. The World Food Program has also stated that Sahrawi women are known to be assertive and to participate in all aspects of camp life (cited in Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, 2010, pp.68). Rather than containing patriarchal oppression by Sahrawi men Sahrawi society has instead been described as matriarchal and asserts that there is a total absence of violence against women in the camps. Our primary question thus became to understand how Sahrawi women were able to gain power within their society as well as create a violence free society in the midst of a region where women generally have few rights.
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh found that Sahrawi women’s contributions to the camps are a considerable source of pride. The active roles of Sahrawi women as distributors of aid, nurses, teachers, builders, as members of the Polisario Front and as individuals who have received military training to protect the camps should they come under attack are recognized and celebrated. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh interviewed one 14-year-old refugee girl
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who said that the Sahrawi woman is the most important in the camps. She built the tents and provides the food, organizes the municipalities and is active in all the refugee camps they are active (2010, pp.68). They also noted that women have a strong role in the activities of the camp and are free to do as they wish (2010, pp.68).
Belloso and Mendina argue that in order to understand the particularity of Sahrawi women and their position in the refugee camps, it is necessary to take into account the traditional construction of gender roles in Western Sahara. They argue that the participation of Sahrawi women in society and their high social status is linked to the history of the Sahrawi people and their life as nomads in which women were considered, respected and contributed to society the same way other members did (2008, pp.165). Lippert found through her research that in traditional Sahrawi life, women exercised power and played a dominant role in the camp as well as in the home which had emerged in nomadic life because it supported Sahrawi resistance to Islamic and Western forces. In traditional Sahrawi society women could inherit property and could live independently of their fathers, brothers and husbands. They were valued by Sahrawi tribes, among which monogamy was the rule in contrary to many other Muslim societies where polygyny is commonly practiced, for their importance in building alliances through marriage within tribes. The traditional nomadic Sahrawi woman was the head of the home and was responsible for the tribal education of her children. She was also not required to cover her face and had great personal freedom within the tribe, where men and women would interact openly. Women were responsible for the camps while the men were away and would be in charge of making, repairing and moving the tents, for milking goats and camels and for participating in major tribal decisions, including the Koranic schooling for male and female children (1992, pp.638).
Belloso and Mendina further argue that due to Sahrawi women being inhabitants of a geographical area that consists of two different historical and cultural realities, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the mix of Arab and Berber traditions, they have created unique cultural traditions which differentiate them from other Muslim women. The Bedouin tradition has typically given women the role of managing assets and traditionally almost all desert nomads were matrilineal and matrilocal communities in characteristics of family organization. This allowed women a certain amount of independence such as being able to receive visits from both men and women when at
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home alone as well as being able to leave the home without the husband’s permission, which is less common in many other Muslim societies in North Africa and Middle East. Women and men also share public and private spaces, women are not required to use the veil and all violence against women is forbidden (2008, pp.165). Thus the cultural and traditional aspects of Saharawi culture have been highly influential in the status of Sahrawi women.
Women have also been heavily involved in the resistance movements against foreign invaders, starting with the resistance movement against the Spanish and the Algerian revolution. Lippert argues that it is most likely the Sahrawi women’s earlier involvement in the liberation struggle as well as in tribal activities that led to the prominence of social and political rights for women. It is also most likely what led to women becoming some of the first members of Polisario which has consistently been 90 percent female (1992, pp.644). The establishment of women’s rights has been firmly implemented in the Sahrawi constitution that states that the government will aim to defend the political, economic and social rights of Sahrawi women and will guarantee their participation in the improvement of society and in the development of the country. All these areas of concern have been addressed by the local, regional and national popular congresses throughout the struggle for independence (Lippert, 1992, pp.644).

Islam and Sahrawi society
Another defining factor of the Saharawi community is their interpretation of Islam. Throughout our time in the camps we were told that Islam is a religion of tolerance that acknowledges men and women equally throughout the Koran. They say that the Koran explicitly states that men and women are different but equal. We were told that Saharawi believe that Islam calls for respect of women and we were told that other Islamic countries that use Islam to oppress women do so by misinterpreting the Koran. The representative of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in Washington confirmed that the role and position of Saharawi women was unusual in Arabic societies. Women have always been in charge of the family in the camps he said, as women were the ones to create a sense of village in the camps, despite the ominous desert landscape, and instill a way of life in them. He further attributed the gender equality within Sahrawi society to Islam, and explained that real Islam honors women
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and that Islam is about tolerance. He says that violence against women is completely unIslamic behavior and that in the Koran the relation between men and women is only about kindness and generosity.
This perspective was further reinforced when we met with four female teachers in a school for disabled children in the camps. When we asked about violence in the camps they all shook their heads and waved their fingers. They said that they do not have problems with these things. It is a shame for men to hurt them they told us, all the men are very nice with them. When we asked about what they think about women in other countries who experience violence, they said, “We feel sorry for them, no woman should have to put up with this.” When we asked them what they would say to other women who experienced violence and discrimination they said, “They should fight: they should not be silent. It would be better to live in the street than live with this kind of man. It is important to teach their children to respect.” At the end of the interview one of the women looked at us with a strong smile and told us that she is with us in the fight for women. We found throughout our interviews that when we asked women what they thought about other countries using Islam to oppress women and to deny them opportunities of leadership as well as to justify violence, all the women shook their heads and said that this is not Islam. They explained that Islam is a religion of tolerance and does not take away women’s rights.
Another factor that is particularly notable about Sahrawi society is that men within the camps as well as the male founders of Polisario view equality for women as a primary strategy for advancing the Polisario cause. One local shop keeper that we spoke to called Mohamed Solek explained to us that there is no violence against women in their society and when we asked why, he explained it was because of their tradition. He said that when he heard about these things happening in other societies he felt that these societies would not be able to develop. He said that he would never want violence and discrimination to affect his sister and he does not want it to happen to other women either. Our host, Selma also explained to us about the strong respect women receive among the Saharawi. Women, she said, were considered equal to men in many ways, for example, they are free to divorce here, and they even hold a party when they are divorced. That is a huge contrast to many other Muslim countries where divorce is often only permitted if the husband initiates it. Amongst the Sahrawi Selma told us,
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traditionally, if a new suitor becomes interested in the divorced woman, he arranges the divorce party: however now because of the war in Western Sahara, a friend of the woman usually arranges it. It is also acceptable among the Sahrawi for a woman to have children with another man, should she remarry.
Throughout our time in the camps we saw women praying openly in public and we were told that girls participate equally in school and excursions. During an interview with the Sahrawi Minister of Defense we were told that women are welcome to participate in the military and a number of women told us that they would be prepared to fight should there be another war with Morocco. We saw women moving freely in the camps and we attended several meetings that were run by women, just for women. In an interview with Khadja Hamdi, the Minister of Culture of the Sahrawi she said she knew about a man who years ago physically abused his wife. She divorced him and married another man. The divorced husband is still alone because no woman is willing to marry him. When people did speak about violence, they said it emanated from Moroccan forces abusing women in Western Sahara. Hamdi said that women have had their hands cut off, had their teeth pulled out, been beaten and been dragged by their hair.

Conclusion
The stories that emerged from our journey into the Sahara desert painted a picture of a strong group of women that had taken charge of their lives and the struggles for their people’s independence. Tales of the mistreatment and sadness of women which are so common around the world were absent in the Sahrawi refugee camps. The case of the Sahrawi women demonstrates that there are women living in extremely difficult situations, within Muslim societies that have successfully taken charge of their communities. They are not dominated and controlled by men but instead are respected and hold high positions in society. Violence against women is not condoned and is considered a shame. The case of the Sahrawi refugee camps offers hope and encouragement to all societies around the world that despite difficult circumstances and regardless of religion or ethnicity, women can live in peace without the threat of violence and discrimination.
It could be argued that the Sahrawi Liberation Movement offers a kind of a ‘third way’ in which nationalist revolutionary thinking can be linked to activism for gender equity.
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In the case of the Sahrawi, gender equality is very much interlinked with Sahrawi traditions and respect and consideration of women are seen as a defining factor that differentiates them from Morocco. Thus, all efforts towards gender equity are not only understood as part of their ethnic identity but are also a basis for their independence struggle (Belloso and Mendina, 2008, pp.164). Thus our discussions with women were centered around freedom – not freedom from violence or having the freedom to move from their homes or to participate in society, like so many other women around the world. Rather they spoke of wanting freedom for their country and for their people.
It seemed to us that what we found deep in the sands of the Sahara was not quite what we suspected. Surrounded by strict Islamic countries many of which have a reputation for violence against women and a denial of women’s rights, we expected to find something similar here in this hot and dusty refugee camp. But what we found instead was a camp full of strong women in positions of leadership and power. Draped in robes with scarves across their heads, the women we met told us very strong clear stories that did have pain, but instead of the pain being about violence and discrimination from their own men, it was about pain that came from other men in another county. It was about the pain of being away from their land that they so desperately wanted to return to and the pain of having to live in a dusty, desolate desert camp, with little water, under the scorching Saharan sun. “You can’t be human without your freedom,” said Jadod of the UN. However, during an interview with the Sahrawi Minister of Culture she told us that the solidarity between women needs to be strong and there is still much work to be done both globally and within Saharwi society to push forward with the struggle for women’s rights.

References
Asprey, R. (2002). War in the shadows, The guerrilla in History, US, Universe
BBC, French hostage Herve Gourdel beheaded in Algeria, 24 September, 2014, www.bbc.com
Belloso, M L & Mendia A, I. (2009). Local human development in contexts of permanent crisis: Women’s experiences in the Western Sahara, Journal of Disaster Risk Studies, 2(3)
Cyr, R (2001). Twentieth Century Africa, US, Writers Club Press,
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Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2010). “Ideal” Refugee women and gender equality mainstreaming in the Sahrwi refugee camps: “Good practice” for whom? Refugee Survey Quarterly, 29(2), 64 – 84
Jones-Pauly, C and Tuqan, A D. (2011). Women under Islam: Gender justice and the politics of Islamic Law, I.B. Tauris,
Le Sueur, James D. (2010). Algeria since 1989 between terror and democracy, London, Zed Books,
Lippert, A. (1992). Sahrawi Women in the Liberation Struggle of the Saharawi People, The University of Chicago Press, 17(3), 636 – 651
Ramdane, Z and Smith, D. (1992). On the road to equality, Cultural survival quarterly, 16(4)
Biography
Johanna Higgs was born in Mt Isa in the desert of Australia but grew up in Perth, Western Australia. Johanna has a undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Politics and wrote her honor’s thesis about the child soldiers of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. She has a Masters degree in International Development and is currently working on her PhD in Anthropology about the child combatants of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) in Colombia. She has travelled through many parts of the world including the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Europe. She has a passion for women’s rights and founded the organization Project Monma which advocates for women’s rights around the world. She could be reached at: J3higgs@students.latrobe.edu
Dr Christine Ryan is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Global Studies at the University of Winchester. She holds a BA in Sociology from DePaul University (Chicago), an MA in International Politics from the University of Manchester and she received her PhD in Politics from SOAS, University of London in 2009. Her specialisation and research interests are war and conflict. She could be contacted at Christine.Ryan@winchester.ac.uk
Johanna Higgs &Christine Ryan, 2015
2015, by Johanna Higgs & Christine Ryan. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Sandra-FM

International Journal for Intersectional Feminist Studies, Volume 1, September 2015,
ISSN 2463-2945
International journal for intersectional feminist studies
The Journal of Project Monma Research Centre
Volume 1, September2015
ISSN 2463-2945

To cite this article
Sandra Iskander, Dealing with allegations of violence against women in a multicultural environment: Consideration of approach(es) and procedure(s) with regards to abuse allegations of women of an Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin in New Zealand, International journal for intersectional feminist studies, 1, pp. 40-57
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Dealing with allegations of violence against women in a multicultural environment: Consideration of approach(es) and procedure(s) with regards to abuse allegations of women of an Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin in New Zealand
Sandra Iskander
Abstract
New Zealand has become increasingly multicultural and continues to accept a large number of migrants every year. This adds a duty on its legal system to ensure that its current laws can protect minority groups and adequately deal with culturally specific issues that arise due to different cultural norms. Many argue that the current legal system fails to provide adequate protection for girls and women from an Asian, African and Middle Eastern (AAM) origin; this is due to a lack of multicultural consideration and the addressing of specific issues linked to these ethnic groups. One such issue is the problem of forced marriages among AAM communities living in New Zealand. This article argues that New Zealand’s laws and processes do not adequately protect women of an AAM background due to a lack of specific laws and policies that can protect against culturally specific abuse. This argument is reached through the consideration of approaches and procedures through socio-legal methodology. This includes the review of governmental documents, semi-structured interviews with relevant organisations and experienced individuals in the field, case studies and independent research. I will conclude that there is a lack of cultural understanding within support organizations and public institutions regarding the forced marriage issues. Moreover AAM women are also not completely aware of their rights and the available support. Finally, I will provide some recommendations based on knowledge I have gained while conducting my research.
Keywords: Forced marriages, dowry, domestic violence, Asian, Middle-Eastern and African women, New Zealand
Introduction
Forced marriage has been identified as an issue among AAM cultures,1 and a good example of the seriousness of such abuses, which is not specifically legislated against in New Zealand.2 It illustrates that cultural differences require further consideration; even though New Zealand has legislated against domestic violence (Domestic Violence Act 1995 (DVA)), many women from an AAM background are unable to have access to this protection as they fall victim to their own cultural norms and barriers.
1 Interview with interviewee A, B and C. (Violence against women of an AAM origin in New Zealand, 8 May 2015).
2 Interview with interviewee C, a prominent family lawyer with significant experience in the family law field.. (Violence against women of an AAM origin in New Zealand, 19 May 2015).
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This article argues that New Zealand’s laws and processes do not adequately protect women of an AAM background due to a lack of specific laws and policies that can protect against culturally specific abuse. In the first section, I will describe the interview methodology. I then discuss the most common forms of violence that face women of an AAM background. Furthermore, I will continue by outlining the current legal framework and procedures relevant to these issues in New Zealand. Last but not least, I will discuss the problems with the framework and procedures with regards to the common forms of abuse that AAM women face. I will do this by discussing the lack of specific laws and procedures for culturally specific issues. In addition, I will discuss the lack of cultural understanding within support organizations and public institutions, and AAM women’s lack of awareness of their rights and the available support. I will provide some recommendations on the basis of my knowledge that I have gained while conducting my research.
This article is not intended to be an in-depth discussion of all issues relating to violence against women of an AAM background, rather looking closely at the most common issues and focusing on the most concerning matters. It seeks to identify the gaps that exist in the current approaches and procedures in New Zealand with regards to how common forms of abuse against AAM women in a multicultural environment are addressed.
Methodology
Three one-hour semi-structured interviews have been conducted. The first was with a representative from the New Zealand Police. The second, with a representative of a women’s refuge organization in New Zealand. The third, was with a prominent family lawyer with significant experience in the Family Law field. All three interviewees were asked five questions each and hand-written notes were made. The questions required them to discuss some of their past experiences with AAM women abuse; the current laws and processes, challenges and the adequacy of the law. Ethics approval has been sought from the University of Canterbury’s Human Ethics Committee. Interviewee’s identities will be protected as they will be referred to as interviewee A, B and C.
The most common forms of violence that face women of an AAM background
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Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been identified as a major issue for women in New Zealand of all backgrounds, as it leads to serious physical and mental health issues (Fanslow et al, 2010). In 2013, there were 95,080 family violence investigations conducted by the Police, with more than 72 percent being male offenders (NZ family clearing house, 2014). This is a dramatic increase from the 61,947 recorded in 2006 (NZ family clearing house, 2014). However, international studies have shown that the identification of issues specific to different ethnic groups that are more likely to experience domestic violence, can lead to the betterment of policies and procedures for the prevention and mediation of these issues (Fanslow et al, 2010). This is vital in countries such as New Zealand due to its current and ever-expanding multicultural nature because, according to Statistics New Zealand, “New Zealand’s major ethnic groups continue to grow” (Statistics NZ, 2014). This is evident through an increase in AAM populations; an increase of 30 percent between 2006 and 2013 in Middle Eastern and African groups as well as a 33 percent increase for Asian groups (Statistics NZ, 2014). In addition, it is predicted that the Asian population will more than double by 2038 (Statistics NZ, 2015). Research conducted in the United States of America has proved the importance of considering the ethnic minorities, as it showed increased instances of violence compared with other groups, referred to as whites or Europeans (Field et al, 2004). Therefore, there is a real need to ensure that adequate laws and policies are in place to prevent, as well as properly deal with, violent acts specific to different ethnic groups that are significantly increasing in number.
Following an interview with a representative of a women’s refuge organization in New Zealand (Interviewee B), the most common forms of violence against women of an AAM origin were identified. Forced marriage associated with honour-based violence was said to be a common issue for many of the AAM women. Dowry was also identified as a cultural norm that leads to violence for Pakistani, Indian and Bangaldeshi women, and is commonly associated with forced marriages in these minority groups.
Forced marriage can be understood as a union where at least one of the spouses is forced into the union (Green, 2015). This usually involves a form of psychological, emotional, economic and sexual pressure and/ or abuse of the female involved, until and following the marriage (NZ Ministry of Social Development, 2012). It usually involves the victim being told that the families’ honour is dependent on her acceptance of the marriage (Green, 2015). It is the removal
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of self-determination and independence, in the misconceived belief that it is for the best interest of the individual (Green, 2015). It has been commonly found that most forced marriages involve girls under the age of 18 (Wade, 2013). Case studies have also shown that girls as young as 12 years have been forced to marry much older men, and this is hidden within their community as marriages are conducted within communities and are not legally registered (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). Children or young individuals that have been forced to marry, are stripped of their right to education and, in some cases, health care and freedom of movement (Green, 2015). These marriages usually occur between family friends or members of the community or through the sponsoring of relatives or family friends from overseas (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). This can also occur through the sending of the women overseas to marry, as shown through some case studies (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010 & Wade, 2013). These marriages have usually been found to lead to significant physical, mental and financial abuse of the women involved, as well as the deprivation of fundamental rights such as access to education (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). Shakti, an AAM women’s refuge in New Zealand, also found that in most cases, it leaves the victim in a suicidal state (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010).
Honour based violence (which can lead to honour killing) appears to also be connected with the issue of forced marriages, illustrating the level of violence that this issue encompasses.3 This is because of the notion of ‘shame’ that families claim, have been cast upon them, when a daughter refuses to abide by her families’ commands or strays away from traditional behaviour through exposure to a different culture (Radhakrishnan, 2012). Shakti, an AAM women’s refuge in New Zealand, has indicated that many women have been threatened with ‘honour killing’, if they were to refuse to abide by their families’ requests or seek external aid (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). The extent of this issue can be seen worldwide, as 5000 women are murdered for honour every year (Radhakrishnan, 2012). However, there is currently no available data to shed light upon the extent of this issue in New Zealand (Shakti Community Council, 2010). That being said, it has been argued that “lack of visibility of honour-based crimes in New Zealand as
3 Interview with interviewee B, representative of a women’s refuge organization in New Zealand. (Violence against women of an AAM origin in New Zealand, 18 May 2015) Attached to Appendix. And Priyanka Radhakrishnan “Unholy Matrimony: Forced Marriage in New Zealand” (Masters in Development Studies, Victoria University, 2012) at 75.
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compared to the United Kingdom (UK), does not necessarily mean that they do not exist” (Shakti Community Council, 2010, pg 31).
The issue of forced marriages is common in AAM cultures due to some members still viewing a birth of a girl as a burden to the family (Shakti Community Council, 2010). This is because, in some situations, they are viewed as a financial burden as well as a risk to their families’ reputation, particularly when they become physically mature (Green, 2015). Therefore, it is more common in AAM cultures to see women subjected to this sort of coercive arrangement, although it is important to note that some men are also victims of this coercive arrangement (HM Government, n.d). Further, forced marriages are used as a means of connecting families for the purpose of betterment of their social status (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). Forced marriage has also been identified as a means of settling debts or an avenue for the improvement of one’s financial status (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010), commonly through the practice of dowry or bride-price (Radhakrishnan, 2012). This is a cultural norm in some parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Radhakrishnan, 2012). Dowry requires money to be paid to the couple to be married by the bride’s family (Maitra, 2001). This illustrates part of the reason why daughters are viewed as a financial burden upon their families (Maitra, 2001). On the other hand, bride-price is when a family is paid by the groom or groom’s family, a sum of money for a daughter’s hand in marriage, which is also a common incentive behind some forced marriages.4
Although these aforementioned issues have taken place in New Zealand, and continue to occur, there is a real lack in data collected to illustrate the extent of the aforementioned problems (Innes-Kent, 2007). Upon interviewing the police, they also identified this lack in statistical data in Christchurch, although they claimed to be fully aware it was occurring.5 This could be due to a significantly lower amount of AAM groups living in Christchurch compared to Auckland (Statistics NZ, 2014). Research composed by the University of Auckland has shed some light upon the extent of violence for Asian women, although this did not include Middle Eastern and African groups (Fanslow et al, 2010). The results showed that Asian women reported the least amount of IPV compared with other ethnic groups (Fanslow et al, 2010). This could be due to
4 Interview with interviewee B, representative of a women’s refuge organization in New Zealand.(Violence against women of an AAM origin in New Zealand, 18 May 2015) Attached to Appendix.
5 Interview with interviewee A, representative from the New Zealand Police from a relevant work unit. (Violence against women of an AAM origin in New Zealand, 8 May 2015) Attached to Appendix.
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Asian women’s attitudes towards violence, which consists of a belief that it should not be reported as it is a private matter (Fanslow et al, 2010). This does not lower the possibility of them experiencing violence, instead the lowering of, “the likelihood of reporting to the police or other authorities” (Fanslow et al, 2010). This is aligned with the police’s belief that a lack of reporting may be due to cultural norms and beliefs that domestic violence should be hidden, otherwise victims could be ostracized by their community.6
The current legal framework and procedures
Independent research and discussion with the interviewees outlined some of the current law that can apply in situations of forced marriages and honour-based violence (Ministry of Justice, 2011). The New Zealand government believes that the current law adequately protects against forced marriages and their related abuses (Ministry of Justice, 2011). Parts of these three Acts have been identified as relevant; the Marriage Act 1955 (MA), the Family Proceedings Act 1980 (FPA), the Crimes Act 1961 (CA) and the Domestic Violence Act 1995 (DVA). In addition, Police Procedure in domestic violence matters will also be considered, in order to gain proper insight of current frameworks and procedures.
The MA outlines the rules and requirements for a legal marriage in New Zealand. According to section 17, for a marriage license to be issued, both parties must be 16 years of age or above (The Marriage Act 1955 (MA), s 17). In addition, individuals under the age of 18 require parental, guardian, or family court consent (MA, ss 18 and 19). The Department of Internal affairs outlines the two different ways in which a marriage can take place; this is through the Registrar of Marriages, or by an approved marriage celebrant (Radhakrishnan, 2012). At present, the law also requires that one of the parties make a formal statutory declaration that the marriage is lawful (Radhakrishnan, 2012). A marriage is considered void if it does not have a license under this Act (MA, s 21).
A marriage can also be considered invalid under section 31 of the FPA. This section outlines that a marriage can be invalidated if, upon the entering of the marriage, duress or mistake took place.
6 Above.
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The New Zealand case of H v H7, which involved two Indian couples, was an application of section 31 (Green, 2015). The claimant requested the court to deem her marriage as void, due to the duress she experienced upon entering the matrimony.8 However, the court found that there was a lack of independent evidence in support of her claim, “There is no evidence from an independent source as to the type of pressure which would be exerted on the respondent because of her cultural and ethnic background”.9 In addition, the judge emphasised that a need to please the family or avoid embarrassment does not satisfy the duress requirement to deem the marriage as void.10 This is because section 31 of the FPA requires consent to mean that an individual has the power to undertake the decision and has the ability to understand the consequences of their decision.11 The fact that the claimant was an, “intelligent and relatively sophisticated woman”12 weakened her argument, as the court found it difficult to compare her with the applicant in the English court of appeal case of Hirani13. In the case of Hirani, the claimant was 19 years old, and was forced by her family to marry a man she had never met, to stop her from being in a relationship with another man, who they disapproved of.14 As a result, the English court of appeal held that there was no consent and the marriage was void.15 Therefore, it appears that decisions are determined on a case by case basis, dependant on the facts of each case, as age, education and maturity are taken into account (Green, 2015). However, it is important to note that regardless of the consideration of factors in each case, individuals who force others into marriage through emotional or psychological coercion are not currently committing an offence under any New Zealand law (Radhakrishnan, 2012). This lack of legislation is leading to further marginalisation of AAM women.
The CA is another legislation that contains some sections, which can play a part in protecting against forced marriages and honour-related abuse. Section 208 protects against physical duress, where a person is held against their will for the purpose of marriage and sexual connection.16 That being said, it is difficult to prove that someone has been held against their will, when they are actually being coerced; this can make it very challenging to prove this offence, in cases of
7 H v H [1992] NZFLR 145, (1991) 7 FRNZ 556 (FC).
8 H v H [1992] NZFLR 145, (1991) 7 FRNZ 556 (FC).
9 Above.
10 Above.
11 X v X [2000] NZFLR 1125 (FC).
12 H v H, above n 57.
13 Hirani v Hirani (1983) 4 FLR 232.
14 Above.
15 H v H , above n 57
16 At 90.
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forced marriage. Section 98 also makes it an offence if any person is forced to be another individual’s slave (Green, 2015). In cases of forced marriage, there appears to be a pattern of misuse of the woman involved, and the forcing of them to carry out all household chores, as well as take care of their spouses and ensure all his needs are met (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010 & Shadwell, 2015). Therefore, it is arguable that this section could provide some protection for these women. However, it would be fact dependant and significant evidence would be required (Green, 2015). In addition, Section 134 of this Act also makes it an offence for any individual to have a sexual relation with any other individual under the age of 16, although the proving of which may be difficult (Green, 2015).
The DVA 1995 provides other forms of protection against some of the violence and abuses that are involved and surround forced marriages and honour-based violence.17 It allows any person to put in place a protection order against another individual or individuals who are perpetrating any physical, sexual or psychological abuse against them (Ministry of Justice, 2011). This order means that the other party cannot contact the applicant through any form (Ministry of Justice, 2011). Section 49 demonstrates the seriousness of the protection orders and its power, as it deems the contravention of such orders to result in six months imprisonment or up to two years imprisonment depending on the number of past breaches (DVA, s 29). In addition, the Act provides for those who have protection orders placed against them to attend free education programmes to assist them in overcoming domestic issues. Further, it provides the applicants and any children involved assistance, in order to support the creation and amendment of relationships (Ministry of Justice, 2011). In addition to these acts, the police procedures play a crucial role in the addressing of these problems, which is addressed in the following section.
Police Procedure
The New Zealand Police play a major role in ensuring the safety of all women who could be facing any form of domestic violence. They have indicated that the processes and channels in place, are the same for all women.18 However, they are aware that “cultural aspects may
17 Interview with interviewee A, B and C, above n 1.
18 Interview with interviewee A, above n 5.
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exacerbate the risk”19, and so they closely consider situations where claimants are at a higher risk. They stated that:
We pay particular attention to ethnic domestic violence of AAM origin due to the extra complexities of cultural norms and values, because we often only receive reports of domestic violence at the acute stage which is often very high risk20
In a situation where the police are called to deal with a domestic violence matter, they are required to follow a particular procedure. This includes the filling out of a family violence report, determining whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the offender, and collecting information regarding the informants, such as the history and backgrounds of the situation, the scene upon arrival, statements from the victim and offender, and details of any children involved.21After accessing the risk, police often issue a Police Safety Order.22 This order is similar to a protection order, as it means that the respondent is unable to contact the applicant for a period of up to five days (NZ Police, n.d). This gives the women time to apply for a protection order if they wish to.
The Police emphasised the importance of risk assessment throughout the interview. They indicated that, in cases of high risk, the situation is discussed at a round table meeting, which includes several support agencies such as Shakti, in order to put safety strategies in place to ensure that the safety of the victims in the future.23 The Police have also indicated the availability of ethnic police officers. These are referred to as MPES; Maori, Pacific and ethnic police, who facilitate prevention work and are called to scenes where individuals from an AAM background are involved. The police also indicated the availability of education programs through partner agencies. These are designed to assist any domestic violence victims with the gaining of knowledge regarding the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships, in order to provide them with the ability to distinguish between good and harmful relationships.24
A recent article published by Stuff.co.nz, has publicised new police procedure regarding the consideration of forced marriages and other honour-based abuses (Shadwell, 2015). It indicated
19 Above.
20 Above.
21 Above.
22 Interview with interviewee A, above n 5.
23Above.
24 Above.
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that guidelines have been added to the police manual to ensure that officers are alert and take proper consideration of these culturally sensitive issues (Shadwell, 2015). It warns them of the signals that may indicate the occurrence of such abuses, such as: unexpected removal from schools or the receiving of expensive gifts (Shadwell, 2015). In addition, it encourages the police to not disclose information to families of victims, if they believe that the victim is in danger (Shadwell, 2015). This is arguably a step in the right direction, as it puts police on alert; it brings awareness upon the occurrence of the issue, and shields the victim from any coercive family environment. Police try to deal with such cases quite efficiently and sensitively; however there are several gaps in current NZ legislation.
Issues and gaps with the current New Zealand legal framework and processes
Recently, there has been a lot of debate regarding the adequacy of New Zealand law and processes with regards to the prevention of forced marriages and the protection of those who are a victim to it. With comparison to other Commonwealth nations such as the UK and Australia (AUS), New Zealand lacks specific laws and processes that can address the issue of forced marriages. The New Zealand government’s view, that there are adequate laws in place to protect against, as well as prosecute those who are involved in this practice (Ministry of Justice, 2011), is arguably wholly misconceived.
Dr Claire Green, a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, has expressed a disappointment in New Zealand’s current law with regards to these issues (Green, 2015). This was following her very recent consideration of International instruments and governments’ approaches to combat these culturally specific issues (Green, 2015). She stated that, “New Zealand’s understanding and acceptance of the issue seem woefully inadequate” (Green, 2015, pg 1). In addition, there was considerable questioning of whether New Zealand’s current legislative and administrative measures, with regards to forced marriages, met its current international obligations as she continued, “it is difficult to understand whether New Zealand is in fact meeting its international human rights obligations” (Green, 2015, pg 4).
There are several aspects that illustrate the inadequacy of New Zealand’s current laws and processes. One example of this is New Zealand’s allowance for those individuals under 18, to be able to marry with the consent of a parent, guardian or the court. This is also closely connected to
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the issue of ‘full and informed consent’ as a gap in legislation exists, which creates ambiguity around whether both parties to a marriage have consented. In addition to this, cultural marriages are not officially recognized, and therefore there is a lack of monitoring of forced marriage activities. Furthermore, there is a lack of recognition of different forms of duress in a cultural format, to better protect and bring justice to victims facing this abuse. There is also a lack of understanding in schools and public institutions, which leads to an inadequacy of support of victims and possible victims. In addition, a lack of prevention and awareness avenues to decrease the likelihood of forced marriages and their related issues from occurring.
As previously outlined, New Zealand’s current law allows for individuals between the ages of 16 and 18 to marry through parental, guardian or court consent (The MA, ss 17-19). However, parental consent is not an issue, as it is usually the parents who coerce the individual into marriage (Shakti Community Council, 2010). This requirement of full and informed consent is highly misconceived in New Zealand. This is due to another legislative issue, which is the requirement that only one party to the marriage needs to sign the marriage Licence (Radhakrishnan, 2012). This means that there is no way of ensuring that both parties give their full and informed consent before the marriage is finalised (Green, 2015). National MP Jackie Blue introduced a Bill in 2012 that would require any individual wanting to marry before the age of 18, to acquire the Family Court’s approval (Wade, 2013). This was in the hope that it would provide a form of protection for those under-age victims, who are being forced to marry, as it would ensure that they are consenting to the marriage through a judge’s assessment (Wade, 2013). However, this Bill was declined by the Government, as it believed it would not stop the cultural practice (Green, 2015). Nonetheless, New Zealand is under an obligation to warrant the right of every individual to choose their partner, and that any marriage entered into is undertaken through the free and full consent of both parties (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). Therefore, it appears that an urgent legislative change is required in order to better ensure this right is protected for every women living in New Zealand. Recommendations made by Shakti include alternative legislative change to ensure that the parents’ consent is given through full and free consent of the individual entering the marriage (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010).
Cultural marriages are not verified (Green, 2015), this is when marriages are labelled as cultural or religious within a community, without formal registration (Shakti Community Council Inc,
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2010). These marriages usually occur by a community or religious celebrants, who are not required to become registered under current New Zealand law (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). This means that these marriages are not monitored for consent, essentially meaning that forced marriages can occur, and are likely occurring without the government’s knowledge (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010); further explaining the lack of evidence concerning the occurrence of this issue in New Zealand. The amendments made by the Australian government to its Crimes Act, include all types of marriages, be it cultural or religious, to ensure criminal sanction for all who commit the offence of forced marriage (Green, 2015). In addition, it criminalises any person who is involved in a forced marriage, which can include marriage celebrants, families, friends and even marriage planners (Green, 2015). Recommendations made by Shakti for the counteracting of these issues include a requirement for all organisations, religious authorities and marriage celebrants conducting marriages, to be registered (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). This is to only occur through a license which can be obtained through the confirmation that those marriages will only be conducted, following the free and full consent of both parties, otherwise licenses may be revoked (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). In addition, the criminalisation of any individuals who are involved in forced marriages (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010).
There is a real issue with the fact that duress is narrowly construed in New Zealand. In AUS, duress is construed broadly, and goes beyond fear and terror (Green, 2015). This is seen through the Judgement of In the marriage of S, as any form of oppression is considered, and was held to be enough to deem the consent to marriage as involuntary.25 Recent amendments to the Australian Crimes legislation, has also taken into account forced marriage, which included the defining of a forced marriage to be, coercion, threat or deception of any party into a marriage (Green, 2015). Coercion is further defined to include “force, duress, detention, psychological oppression, abuse of power or taking advantage of a person’s vulnerability” (Green, 2015, pg 5). Therefore, further consideration and reform is required with regards to the way duress, or coercion is construed in the New Zealand courts. This can be achieved through legislative clarification, which can take into account cultural aspects and the recognition that emotional and psychological coercion can be a form of duress (Radhakrishnan, 2012).
25 In the marriage of S (1980) FLC 90-820.
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There is a real lack of understanding by schools and public institutions in New Zealand. Dr Green has also noticed this issue as she stated, “one of the problems faced in New Zealand is that we simply do not know enough about the issues and it is a problem that is marginalised” (Green, 2015, pg 4). Several case studies reported by Shakti have illustrated the extent of this issue, for example when K, a 19 year old of an African origin was forced to marry her rapist, and became pregnant (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). She was offered no intervention or support by her school (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). In addition, when Child Youth and Family (CYF) became aware, they displayed a lack of cultural understanding and relied on members of her community for guidance (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). This was very disadvantageous for the victim, as it appears that some community leaders and members are associated with this abuse, thus give misleading information (HM Government, n.d). Further, the case of J reported by Shakti, illustrates the importance of intervention by schools; the school counsellor referred an 18 year old girl to Shakti upon knowing that she was forced to go back to Afghanistan to marry, and was threatened with honour killing upon her refusal (Shakti Community Council, 2010). Shakti was able to help her gain a protection order against her entire family, and she was able to continue with study and build her career (Shakti Community Council, 2010). Therefore, had it not been for the school’s counsellor’s intervention, this girl’s fate could have been much different. Internationally, a lot has been done to ensure that schools and public institutions are fully aware of the extent of the problem and how to deal with it, and direct individuals in the right pathway (Green, 2015). A study conducted in New Zealand, with regards to the prevalence of IPV and attitudes to violence and gender roles, discussed the importance of establishing and supporting the creation of cultural competence in public institutions and support services (Fanslow, 2010). Shakti has recommended the creation of guidelines for schools, universities and other public institutions, to ensure that they are fully aware of the problem and its surrounding issues (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). In addition, ensuring that they have knowledge of the different avenues available for intervention so that they are better equipped to assist any potential or current victims (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010).
In 2012, several New Zealand agencies created a collaborative response to dealing with forced marriages (New Zealand Ministry of Social Development (NZ MOSD), 2012). It was an attempt
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to show the organisation’s commitment to helping victims and potential victims of forced marriages in New Zealand by expressing the importance of the right to marry by choice (NZ MOSD, 2012). However, there is still a significant gap in prevention and assistance avenues, and it is arguable that this protocol is a very poor effort on behalf of New Zealand in mitigating the issue. Countries such as the UK and AUS have implemented legislation and processes that create pathways for individuals facing this issue (Green, 2015). This is to ensure that there are adequate processes in place and that they are aware of them, so that they may seek help when they need to get out of their situation (Green, 2015). Shakti has recommended for New Zealand to collaborate with support agencies and put in place “proactive outreach measures” (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010) to better protect victims in these marginalised communities (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010).
Education about the issues and awareness of support agencies is a major factor in the prevention and mitigation of forced marriages and related abuses (Green, 2015). This is due to the fact that most of the victims are under a misconception that the abuse they are subjected to is normal (Green, 2015), and consequently do not report it until it is at the extreme level.26 Although the Police procedure outlined earlier appears to be adequate and considers many factors in domestic violence situations, the lack of reporting by victims makes it difficult for the Police to effectively help the victims. The representative from the Police has indicated that work needs to be done to encourage the reporting of domestic violence from women of an AAM background.27 It was suggested that more resourcing may be required, for the creation of more courses for victims and offenders around the addressing of personal issues.28 In the UK, they have created a forced marriage unit (FMU) designed to support victims of forced marriage by providing advice, a helpline, creating policies and undergoing casework (Green, 2015). In addition, it provides training education to professionals and the wider public, and works towards awareness of the issues through media campaigns (Green, 2015 and Gov.uk, 2015). This has proved to be a major success as it has reported 5,000 helpline calls, as well as 1,600 incidents of suspected forced marriage (Green, 2015). The need for these efforts to be implemented in New Zealand can be illustrated through the case of B reported by Shakti, as a 16 year old female was sponsored into
26 Interview with interviewee A, above n 5.
27 Above.
28 Above.
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New Zealand for an arranged marriage (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). This resulted in her being treated as a slave, doing all household chores, working as well as being physically, psychologically, sexually and economically abused, leading up to her attempted suicide (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). However, a stranger came across her while she was attempting to end her life and referred her to the Police, who were able to help her and direct her to the relevant support agency, Shakti (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010). Arguably, if she had been aware of her rights or Shakti initially, she could have escaped and sought help, and not suffered through the same amount of abuse. Furthermore, a previous victim of these cultural abuses (coercion into marriage, physical and emotional abuse), has indicated the need for people within AAM communities to, “be reminded that they are in New Zealand now” and that they, “have rights to speak up” (Radhakrishnan, 2012). Other suggestions have been made by past-victims such as, the organisation of entertaining events that can attract young girls and educate them about their rights (Radhakrishnan, 2012). In addition, the use of media as in the UK, to portray anti-abuse in an ethnic context, could be an effective way to spread the message (Radhakrishnan, 2012 & Gov.uk, 2015). This is further supported by the positive outcomes that ensued from the “it’s not OK” campaign that took place recently, resulting in an increased amount of men seeking help for their abusive behaviour (Fanslow, 2010). Therefore, it has been argued that this can be effective in supporting “ethnic-specific prevention activities” (Fanslow, 2010). Consequently, it is evident that education and awareness is vital among AAM communities, in order to help create awareness and develop confidence in the New Zealand system to seek intervention when they need it (Shakti Community Council Inc, 2010).
It is clear that forced marriages occur in New Zealand, yet there is a serious lack of statistical data to identify the extent of the problem as previously discussed. This leads to a lack of understanding by the New Zealand government and agencies of the extent of the issue and its surrounding factors. Although steps are currently being taken, such as the very recently added police guidelines with regards to forced marriage, and the multi- agency agreement, there is still a significant amount of reform required in order to adequately protect those who are victim, or may fall victim to these forms of cultural abuses.
Conclusion
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This article has argued that the current legal framework and policies are inadequate in the protection of AAM women facing culturally specific abuse. It has done this through the examination of the current approaches and procedures with regards to abuse allegations of women of an AAM origin in New Zealand. It did this through the consideration of the current legal framework, policies and processes with regards to a common issue faced by AAM women; forced marriage. Furthermore, an outline of the issues and gaps in the current legal framework, policies and processes, as well as some recommendations were provided. This was done in order to illustrate the inadequacy of the current laws and policies in New Zealand. It was evident that there are laws and policies in place to protect against different forms of abuse, and provide guidelines for the processing of marriages in New Zealand. However, there is still a real need for reform for the adequate protection of women in AAM communities within New Zealand. The creation of new legislation and policies that are specific to the issue of forced marriage, and the difficulties associated with AAM cultural norms, was suggested. If followed, it could ensure better justice for all women facing any forms of abuse in New Zealand’s multicultural environment.
References
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New Zealand Police. (n.d). Family Violence Form Set POL 1311- 1316.
Radhakrishnan, P. (2012). Unholy Matrimony: Forced Marriage in New Zealand. Masters in Development Studies, Victoria University.
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Shakti Community Council Inc. (2010). Additional information on Forced/Underage Marriages.
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http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/estimates_and_projections/NationalEthnicPopulationProjections_HOTP2013-38.aspx .
Shadwell, T. (2015). Police get guidelines on investigating forced marriages. Retrieved from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/68721673/police-get-guidelines-on-investigating-forced-marriages.html.
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Wade, A. (2013). Young brides ‘forced to wed” . The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10860111.
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Sandra is originally from Egypt, but has spent most of her life in Christchurch, New Zealand. She has recently finished a double degree in Law and Commerce majoring in Management at the University of Canterbury. Throughout her time at University, she was involved in several community organisations such as Shakti Christchurch, Community Law Canterbury, and UCSA Help. She is continues to support and represent Shakti, while commencing her professional legal studies and interning at a family law firm in Christchurch. She is passionate about social justice and gender equality and hopes to make a positive change in people’s lives. She could be contacted at iskander_s@hotmail.com.
Sandra Iskander, 2015
2015, by Sandra Iskander. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Rabia-Asia

International Journal for Intersectional Feminist Studies, Volume 1, September 2015,
ISSN 2463-2945
International journal for intersectional feminist studies
The Journal of Project Monma Research Centre
Volume 1, September2015
ISSN 2463-2945
To cite this article
Aisha Bhatti & Rabia Ali, Lifestyle of working women in modern organization: Implications on health, International journal for intersectional feminist studies, 1, pp. 5-28
International Journal for Intersectional Feminist Studies, Volume 1, September 2015,
ISSN 2463-2945
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Lifestyle of Working Women in Modern Organizations: Implications on Health
Aisha Bhatti & Dr. Rabia Ali
Abstract
The relationship between the lifestyle of professional women and their health has been researched across the globe, including in developing countries. However, the area remains under-published in the context of Pakistan. The present study was conducted in 2013 to explore the effects of lifestyle on women’s health in public and private organizations in Pakistan. The study was quantitative in nature and a sample of 330 professional women was selected by adopting a purposive sampling technique. A self-designed, close-ended questionnaire was used to collect the data. The results of the study highlight that health is strongly related with the lifestyle choices of the participants in modern organizations. Clearly, transformation and reproduction of gender roles have provided a space for women to enter the public arena to meet the demands of the globalizing world. Yet unfavorable working conditions and excessive work at the workplace coupled with traditional household responsibilities put immense pressure on women. As a consequence of this double pressure along with socio-cultural constraints arising from the existing power structure, professional women do not exercise, skip meals and consume junk food. This in turn leads to stress and health issues such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases among professional women. It is imperative that women realize the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through personal efforts and a change in health behavior.
Keywords: Lifestyle, health, professional women, modern organizations, diet, exercise, sleep, obesity, heart problems, Pakistan
Introduction
Health is not merely the absence of disease but a condition in which an individual feels complete physical, mental, and social fitness. There are various elements that influence the health of an individual. These may include an individual’s socio-economic background, physical atmosphere, lifestyle and behavior (WHO, 2009). Scholarship across the world highlights that the healthy lifestyle choices of people play an important role in improving and maintaining the health of people in societies (Brisson et al., 2000; Willett, 2000; Toobert et al., 2001).
Research indicates that the rate of women’s employment has amplified globally due to the acknowledgment of women’s high level of educational achievement and women’s increased
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desire for liberation and social recognition. In particular, globalization has brought great freedom to women, especially those living in traditionally conservative countries. In countries like Indonesia and Thailand women have been able to be economically independent and to have at least some choices in their personal lives (Mandle, 2001). In the modern globalized world the public space is rapidly expanding for women. However, demand for efficiency has laid great pressure on women to adapt to the needs of the capitalist market. This in turn has resulted in increasing changes in lifestyle of women across the world, where they get to spend minimum time on physical exercise and their eating and sleeping habits have changed too. These changes have been reported to affect their health adversely (Mozaffarian et al., 2011).
The effects of the changing lifestyle of women on their health behavior have been researched across the globe including in the developing countries (Katalin, 2008; Brisson et al., 2000). Studies have shown that the lifestyle of females of all age groups is shaped by a series of factors including demographic, epidemiological, social, cultural, economic and environmental (Denton, 2004; Katalin, 2008). These same factors also affect the lives of males but not as much as they affect girls and women (Ross & Bird, 1994; WHO, 2009).
Studies across the world have found that problems associated with an individual’s lifestyle and behavior include lack of exercise, improper dieting and sleep (Appel, 2005; Autenrieth et al., 2011; Johanna & Jachens, 2004). Globally, an increasing number of women have been reported to be associated with cardiovascular complaints, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and excessive body weight which could be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices (Katalin, 2008; Laaksonen, 2001).
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (2009) indicates that having increased body fat is a major threat for women’s health. For professional working women this is largely because of the long working hours followed by a commitment to household chores and child rearing at home with limited opportunities to exercise and get engaged in leisure activities (Caruso et al, 2004; Denton, 2004; Artazcoz et al., 2007). Health administrators across the world have argued that lack of physical activity is one of the most persistent health issues of modern times. Most adults, especially women, do not undertake the recommended amount of regular exercise and are involved in sedentary activities (Centre of Disease Control, 2013). According to the World Health Organization (2004), lack of physical activity contributes to approximately
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12% of falls in the elderly, 17% of diabetes and heart disease and ten percent of breast cancer and colon cancer. Specialists recommend that people should perform some kind of aerobic activities at least three times during the week.
In the context of Pakistan, technological advancements such as computers, elevators and personal vehicles have reduced physical activities of people at home and at the workplace. Due to social insecurity and worse law and order situations, people, especially women, avoid walking and utilize public or private transportation in daily life (Samir, et al., 2011; Sherin, 2013; WHO, 2004). Consequently, unhealthy behaviors such as unbalanced dietary habits and lack of physical activity have been reported to be the main contributing factors for the increased prevalence of coronary heart disease and obesity in the country (Samir et al., 2011; WHO, 2004).
Besides physical exercise, maintaining the required amount of sleep is also important to stay healthy and fit. Johanna and Jachens (2004) have argued that in industrialized nations many women report some kind of sleep problem. Sleep disorders are not actually the illness but the symptoms of multiple physiological, psychological, and spiritual deficiencies. Frank (2005) stated that one of the reasons for mood disorder is lack of sleep or too much sleep. It is important to maintain a regular schedule of sleep, whenever it is possible.
Balance between work and life is essential for working women to maintain good physical and mental health, but the multiple responsibilities of women as homemaker and worker have caused various health problems for them (Frazier, 2010). The health of women is imperative for the productivity of organizations and for the family and society at large, in which they play dynamic and multiple roles. To be able to perform well women need to have a balanced life.
In Pakistan, health is one of the major problems for the population. The issues related to health lead to a financial burden on the already struggling economy of the country (Wang et al., 2010). Women in the context of Pakistan constitute a significant proportion of the population of the society. Recently women’s labor force participation rates have increased steadily. Globalization is believed to have contributed to women’s development. Foreign direct investment and the private sector are reported to have positively influenced the status of women in the country (Bashir & Fida, 2012). However, as women’s traditional roles have been transformed with increasing participation in public space, they have encountered new health risks which affect their existing professional exposure. Women have to follow the socially constructed model of
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femininity, which limits their abilities to make independent decisions. This societal expectation also forces them to abide by the norms that restrict their activities and exclude them from the larger society, of which they are a significant part. Therefore, health and socio-cultural reforms are necessary for women’s socio-economic development (Subbarao & Raney, 1995). Nevertheless, to start with, it is imperative to understand the issues related to women’s health from the personal experiences of women.
Taking this as a point of departure, this study aims to explore the lifestyle of professional women in contemporary work organizations of Pakistan and its influence on women’s health. The study is significant since it will provide a space to explore the health status of qualified women in the context of Pakistan, which is an under-researched area.
Methods and measurements
The quantitative study was undertaken in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in the year 2013. A sample of 330 women was selected by adopting a convenient sampling technique. This technique was chosen due to the unavailability of a sampling frame. The sample represented the entire universe of the study. The sample was selected from banks and telecom organizations only because the study wanted to focus on modern organizations. Written, signed, informed consents were taken from all the selected respondents. The data was stripped of personal identifiers before release to the public. Therefore, this study was exempted from Institutional Review Board consideration.
Instrument
A self-designed, close-ended questionnaire was developed to evaluate the impact of lifestyle on the health of professional women. The contents of the questionnaire were developed through an extensive review of relevant literature. It was designed to measure different dimensions of lifestyle and health. It had two parts. Part-A consisted of three subscales of lifestyle to assess diet, physical activities and sleeping routines of participants. Part-B consisted of two subscales of health to assess their heart problems and obesity. Each scale consisted of a list of questions and the responses were measured by using the five points Likert scale. Responses included very often (1), often (2), rare (3), very rare (4) and never (5).
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The instrument was designed to obtain information relevant to the objectives of the study and to collect the information with maximal reliability and validity. The validity of the questionnaire was checked before data collection. It was ensured that it accurately measures what it aims to do, regardless of who responds, when they respond, and to whom they respond or when self-administered.
The instrument was compared against the available “Gold standard”. The methods used for the validation of the instrument were face validation, content validation and construct validation. At the first stage of the validation, the questionnaire was given to the specialists for the face validation. They were requested to determine if the instrument seems to measure the target variables. The experts assessed whether the test “looks valid” in term of appropriateness of the instrument to examine the lifestyle and health of professional women. In the second stage, experts’ judgments were used to check out the validation of the contents. They determined whether the contents are representing all the facets of lifestyle and health. In the third step, construct validation was used to determine the reliability of the instrument. The instrument was finalized for the data collection after the reliability test of each index of lifestyle and health. To estimate the reliability of the instrument, researchers did a pilot study and interviewed 60 working women. The test of Cronbach’s Alpha was used for this purpose. An Alpha coefficient was obtained of the lifestyle and health index. It was altered and rephrased in this process.
Variables
Lifestyle: It was the independent variable for this study. It was measured through constructing three subscales: diet (dieting habits and refreshment at workplace), physical activity (exercise and household activity) and sleeping habits. The participants were asked to respond to questions in each subscale. Diet was measured by two separate list of questions. Questions about dieting habits included items: bread, cereals, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat/beef/chicken/fish, food containing fats and drinks containing sugar. The responses were measured by using the Likert scale. Responses of this index ranged from very often (1) to never (5). The reliability (Cronbach’s Alpha) of this index was 0.788. Refreshment of participants at their workplace was measured through asking them about items: burger, samosa (local pastry), chat (local dish), dahibry (local dish), fries, rice, meal items, salan (curry), nan (bread), drinks or juices, and tea. The Cronbach’s Alpha of this index was .833.
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Physical exercise was the second subscale. It was measured through questions about exercise — regular walking, jogging, bicycling, dancing, badminton and table tennis — and household activities — cleaning, washing clothes, dish washing, ironing and cooking. The reliability of this index was 0.800 and 0.766 respectively.
Sleeping routines were measured by asking about the frequency of difficulty of getting up, taking a nap, waking up at night, sleepiness or low energy in day and un-refreshing sleep. The reliability (Cronbach’s Alpha) of this index was .776.
Health: It was the dependent variable and primary area of interest for the study. Two subscales, heart problems and obesity, were developed to study the health problems of the respondents. The scale of heart problems included questions about relevant symptoms: palpitation or irregular heartbeats, fast heart beat, weakness or dizziness, loss of consciousness, discomfort, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone and discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm. The obesity scale consisted of questions about sweating, snoring, difficulty in doing daily physical activities, feeling very tired every day, back and joint pains and increased weight. The reliability of these indexes was 0.838 and 0.826 respectively.
Data analysis
The data was analyzed by SPSS version 17. Descriptive statistics included frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation. The Pearson Bivariate Correlation Model was used to determine the strength of the relationship between lifestyle and health of the participants. The modifying variables were developed by SPSS version 17 for analyzing the correlation between lifestyle and health.
Results
The mean age of respondents in the current study was 28 years with SD of four years. The respondents aged between 20 to 29 years were 77%, between 30 to 39 years were 18%, and above 39 years were 5%. In the study 54% of respondents’ income was ranged from Rs. 20,000/- to Rs. 40,000/-, whereas 25% were earning below Rs. 20,000/- and 21% of respondents’ income was above Rs. 40,000/-. Unmarried respondents were 60%, whereas married were 36%, divorced were three percent and separated were only one percent. The results will be discussed in the light
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of the research aim, i.e., to investigate the lifestyle of the respondents and explore how lifestyle affects their health.
First is the question of lifestyle. It is well-known that a balanced diet is essential for a healthy life (US Food Standard Agency, 2001). It has been reported in previous studies that the concept of a healthy diet in Pakistan is changing rapidly. People in contemporary Pakistan prefer to eat an “energy-dense” diet. It is rich in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids and sugar. In celebration of special events, meat, sweets, oil and sugared fizzy drinks are frequently used. Inflation is also on the rise in Pakistani society so people use cheaper sources of energy such as fats and sugar. Fast food and junk food are also very popular among people in urban areas (Sherin, 2013).
To determine the health of the respondents, it was important to study their diet patterns. This was measured by using two subscales including meals and snacks consumed by respondents at the workplace. Table 1 presents the information about the meals consumed by respondents. The data shows that the eating patterns of the respondents varied. For example, only 22% women often consumed cereals while 26% reported that they rarely ate cereals. Fruits, milk, vegetables and meat were often consumed by 41%, 28%, 46% and 48% of respondents respectively. On the other hand, 37% of the respondents reported to consume fatty food and drinks containing sugar. The quantity of fats in the food was high because it was reported to have been ordered from restaurants due to long working hours. The data shows that though a good number of respondents consumed healthy food, there were many who had unhealthy habits due to time constraint, work pressure and related causes at work. Previous research across the world reveals that unhealthy food including fats can lead to numerous health issues in people such as obesity and cardiovascular disease (Appel et al., 2005).
Snacking at the workplace was reported to be a common practice by a large number of women. This was largely due to time constraints due to long working hours and work pressure. Most of these snack items are usually taken from restaurants and contain many fats and unhealthy elements. These include burgers, samosa (local pastry), fries and Chat (local dish made of yogurt). The results of the study show that 22% women reported to eat burgers, 29% reported to eat samosa (local pastry), 22% reported to eat fries and 24% reported to eat chat at their workplace. The intake of tea was also reported to be high among the women as reported by 48%. One woman reported that she took tea four to five times at her workplace. Drinks that contain
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sugar were reported to be taken by 38% of women in contrast to 11% of women, who drank them very rarely (see Table 2).
Physical activities are also important to sustain or enhance physical well-being and health. These are also helpful for strengthening the muscles and the cardiac system, losing weight and receiving enjoyment (Autenrieth et al., 2011; Reiner, 2011). In the present study physical exercise was measured by two subscales that included exercise and household activities. Table 3 shows the evidence of the exercise routine of the respondents. The results highlight that the majority of the women do not get involved in regular physical activities. The data reveals that the only rigorous exercise undertaken by the respondents was walking as reported by 25% of respondents. Other kinds of aerobic exercises were performed by very few working women. Results showed that jogging, bicycling and dancing were quite uncommon as shown by 54%, 70% and 59% of respondents respectively. Similarly, badminton and table tennis were reported to never have been played by 59% and 69% of respondents respectively. It was found that the majority of the women recognized the importance of exercise for good health, but they reported that they were unable to spare time for exercise due to their hectic work routine. One woman reported that she had to manage the dual responsibilities of home and workplace; therefore, she could not spare time for physical exercise.
A large number of women were of the view that socio-cultural values such as modesty restricted them from participating in aerobic exercises such as jogging, dancing and riding a bicycle. Furthermore, they were not allowed to perform the exercises in the presence of men. Similar findings were reported by Begum (2002) who found in her study that women were expected to conform to certain codes in Pakistani society. The need to restrict women’s mobility arises from the customs of the “honor and shame” of the family. The Muslim custom of ‘Purdah’ (veil) also limits the physical activities of women.
Table 4 represents household activities of the respondents. It contains clear evidence of the kind of burden and double-edged pressure faced by women at work and at home. Research into the social determinants of women’s health has been dominated by the role framework in which women’s primary role is as housewives and mothers, and paid employment is an adjunct (Artazcoz et al., 2007; Borrell et al., 2004). Household maintenance is one of the primary responsibilities of all women in Pakistani society.
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The results of this study show that despite the work load at the workplace, the majority of the women also performed their household activities. This pattern, which is also evident in the context of other South Asian countries including India and Bangladesh, shows that the burden on women has actually increased as they are expected to contribute financially within their households. However, it does not change the socio-cultural expectation from them to look after their families. Hence, changes in gender roles are evident in terms of only men being the key bread earner, but not much change has been seen in the traditional gender roles of women being the primary care-taker.
The data highlights that household chores like cleaning, dish washing, ironing of clothes and cooking were most frequently done by 31%, 34%, 56% and 34% of respondents respectively as compared to 10%, 8%, 8% and 6% of respondents who performed these activities very rarely. Many women reported that managing the household was one of their primary responsibilities. In particular, married women reported to have no escape from any of these activities, and they received little help from their male counterparts in performing these chores.
Besides diet and exercise, adequate sleep is essential for the well-being of a person. Previous research shows that inadequate sleep for a long duration of time or attaining poor quality sleep increases the risk of having heart disease, hypertension, obesity, stress and depression (Ram et al., 2010). In this research the majority of the respondents reported that they were unable to get good sleep due to their busy routine in life and increasing responsibilities. Consequently, they reported to feel sleepy and to have low energy throughout the day.
The findings also show that the majority had difficulty in falling asleep and waking up in the morning. Data indicates that 30% of respondents reported to feel difficulty getting up in morning, while 26% reported to feel difficulty falling sleep at night. Another 33% of respondents reported that they felt sleepy or had low energy during the day. Of respondents, 28% reported to wake up frequently at night, 26% reported interrupted sleep and 19% said that they often took a nap. One of the women stated that her sleeping routine was disturbed due to the long working hours. She said she often had to work overtime and was unable to get refreshing sleep. A number of women reported that they had experienced tensions and depressions due to work pressures. Consequently, they experienced interrupted sleep (see Table 5).
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Having discussed the lifestyle of the respondents, the remainder of this paper will focus on the influence of lifestyle on the health of respondents. The study found that the unhealthy lifestyle of the respondents had led to a number of issues related to their health. Previous research literature indicates that the lifestyle of a person influences the health of that person. Studies across the globe show that individuals who are less involved in exercise and do not eat a balanced diet face a number of health problems including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stress and depression (Appel, 2005; Mozaffarian, 2011). The results of this study indicate the prevalence of different symptoms of heart problems among professional women (see Table 6). Respondents reported that they often experienced the symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Data indicates that respondents often felt weakness or dizziness (30%), shortness of breath (18%) and fast heartbeat (17%). Data also shows that 13% of respondents reported that they frequently experienced palpitations (irregular heartbeats or a “flip-flop” feeling in chest). One participant reported that a tough schedule at work made it hard to get involved in physical activities and consuming a healthy diet. Consequently, she often experienced these symptoms.
Loss of consciousness was reported by 9% of respondents. Only 16% reported discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone while 25% sometimes felt this problem. Of respondents, 12% reported to feel discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm as compared to 30% of respondents who rarely reported to feel it (Table 6). Similar findings have been reported in previous studies. Scholarship illustrates that there are a number of risk factors for women that increase the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) among women, comprised of an inactive way of life, high-cholesterol diet and social segregation (Herman, 2007; Mozaffarian et al., 2011). Studies indicate that it is important to recognize that multiple risk factors are necessary to address CHD because no single factor can address the complex relations between health behavior, the social setting, and maintenance of health (Willett, 2000).
Above, it was discussed that the unhealthy lifestyle of the respondents affected their sleeping patterns and energy level. . Similarly, the effect of an unhealthy lifestyle can be reflected in the physical appearance of individuals and obesity is one example of this. Obesity negatively impacts the health of women in many ways. Being overweight or obese increases the relative risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease in women. Working women in contemporary work organizations feel tired and they also feel pain in back and joints frequently due to continuously
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sitting in the office. Data shows that they are less engaged in physical activities and consume fatty foods.
Table 7 indicates the symptoms of obesity among respondents. It shows that 31% felt very tired every day, 26% reported back and joint pains and 22% reported increased weight. Another 18% reported breathlessness and 17% sweat a lot. Of respondents, 15% had difficulty in doing daily physical activities and only six percent of participants reported snoring. Many women said that their body weight had increased after they had started employment. They attributed this to their intake of food, including having high-cholesterol food at work, and the inability to spare time for exercise due to long working hours.
The results of the study highlight that lifestyle including diet, physical activities and sleeping routines have a significant relationship with indicators of health: heart problems and obesity. The fact that it is significant is evidence that there is a systematic co-relation between the health indicators mentioned above and lifestyle. Heart problems have positively correlated with the lifestyle of professional women and their Pearson Correlation is 0.307, whereas the Pearson correlation of obesity is 0.248. Results indicated that correlations of both heart disease and obesity are significant at 0.01 levels (see Table 8). Discussion
The present study intended to explore the impact of lifestyle on the health of women working in contemporary organizations of Pakistan. The study highlighted that the burden on women has increased as they are expected to contribute financially within their households, but it has not changed the socio-cultural expectations such as looking after their families. It is clear that changes in gender roles are evident in terms of only men being the key bread earner, but not many changes in traditional gender roles of women are observed, like being the primary care-taker. This is one of the major challenges for them in maintaining their healthy lifestyle. The study demonstrated that the responsibilities of women at the workplace and at home have affected their health negatively. The findings of the study have clearly established that the nature of work and the double burden (household and job) do not allow women to consume a balanced diet, and they often rely on junk food during office hours. Similar findings have been reported in previous research where consumption of junk food and drinks containing sugar has been reported
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to affect the health of individuals. For example, in the US according to the US Food Standards Agency (2001), the Balance of Good Health is based on the Government’s Eight Guidelines for a Healthy Diet. Two of them are that one should not eat too many foods containing a lot of fat and avoid consuming sugary foods and drinks too often.
In addition, the data illustrates that women seldom took initiatives to undertake regular exercise — owing to professional burdens and socio-cultural expectations of maintaining modesty — which is an important part of health maintenance. The findings of this study show that the only exercise managed by the women was walking. The results indicate that most of the women were aware of the significance of regular exercise but they were unable to spare time for it in their busy lifestyle. This resonates with the Pakistani society where women are mostly restricted in performing aerobic exercises due to customary barriers and social insecurities. They often depend on male members to perform physical activities like walking, jogging and dancing due to the unavailability of culturally-sensitive facilities such as women parks and gyms.In addition, the double pressure at work and at home does not permit women to get engaged in physical exercises.
Several studies have highlighted that gender has influenced the habits of Asian populations to be able to engage in exercises. These studies found lower levels of physical activities among Asian women (Krishnan et al., 2008; Khueaja and Kadir, 2010). Chopra et al. (2013) have highlighted in their study that a majority of South Asian women spend their leisure time in household responsibilities and taking care of the extended family. It limits their time for participating in regular physical activities. They found that a lack of physical activities leads to a greater risk of obesity levels among Asian women. Similarly, Willett (2000) has noted that physical exercise is necessary to maintain physical fitness and overall health and well-being of people. Likewise, Herman (2007) found that regular physical exercise strengthens the immune system of a person and helps to prevent the “diseases of affluence” such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, heart disease and diabetes. Frans and Wacker (2005) also emphasized that increased physical activity helps to increase life expectancy, and in old age it helps to improve quality of life and the ability of a person to continue enjoying work and recreation.
The study also indicated that working women do not get proper sleep. It has been found in previous studies that the required amount of sleep is very important for a healthy life. Jetter and
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Cassady (2006) have found that lack of sleep or too much sleep can worsen a person’s moods. So, one should try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Johanna (2004) stated that sleep disorders are a very common problem. In industrialized communities especially, many people suffer from some form of sleep disorder. He said that sleep disorders are not illnesses; rather, they are indications of a variety of physical and mental health issues.
The results of the present study show a significant relationship between lifestyle and health of professional women. The result of Pearson correlation analysis indicates that improper diet, exercise and sleeping habits of working women increase the symptoms of cardiovascular disease and obesity among them. Similarly, the findings of this study also highlight that due to an unhealthy lifestyle, extended working hours and work-related stress in meeting deadlines, the majority of the participants were found to be affected by diseases such as heart problems, hypertension and overweight.
There is enough evidence in previous research to support the argument that health behavior and lifestyle have an impact on health. Mukkhupadhah (1997) pointed out that two-thirds of Indian working women suffer from behavior disorders, and 53% of them skip meals and go for junk food due to work deadlines and pressure. The survey also indicated that 68% of working women in the age bracket of 21-52 years were found to be suffering from lifestyle illnesses such as obesity, chronic backache, diabetes and hypertension. As indicated by the Asian-specific BMI cutoff of 23 kg/m2 one-fourth of the general population in Pakistan is overweight or obese (Jafar, Chaturvedi, & Pappas, 2006). Significant factors include gender, urbanization, high educational attainment and high socio-economic status of people (Bahadur et al., 2013). Obesity is prevalent in the majority of the Pakistani population in recent decades and needs prevention by taking proper measures. Genetic predilection, customs, sedentary lifestyle, sleeping habits and dietary behaviors are contributing factors to obesity (Sherin, 2013). According to Bonanno (2000), a number of behavior-related Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) risk factors have been identified for women, including sedentary lifestyle, high-fat diet, exaggerated stress responses and social isolation.
Limitations
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Besides the broad significance, there are certain limitations of this study. First, the unavailability of a sampling frame of working women in selected sectors (bank and telecommunication) restricted researchers to utilizing a purposive sampling technique. Second, due to the cross-sectional design, a temporal relation between the selected variables was not possible to be assessed. Third, a self-designed questionnaire was used due to the unavailability of the standard scales for measuring selected variables. It might have resulted in misclassification of information and lack of comparability of results to those from studies that have used standard instruments. Lastly, this study was conducted only in the two cities of Pakistan (Rawalpindi and Islamabad); therefore, the findings cannot be generalized to the entire population of working women across Pakistan.
Conclusion
The current study attempted to analyze the impact of lifestyle on the health of professional women. The findings highlight that the context in which women live is of great importance to their health status and quality of life. It was evident that the reproduction and transformation of gender roles has actually over-burdened women. While they have begun to contribute to their family income, they continue to perform their traditional roles. This indicates that women’s access to work does not change the socio-cultural expectations automatically. The paper argues that this remains one of the major challenges for women in maintaining their health. It can be concluded that health is maintained and improved through the efforts and behaviors of the individuals. It is important that women should understand this for their long term health.
TABLE 1 Meals of Respondents
Meal Items V Often1 Often Rare V Rare2 Never
Roti (bread)
232
(70.3%)
77
(23.3%)
14
(4.2%)
5
(1.5%)
2
(0.6%)
1 V Often = Very Often
2 V Rare = Very Rare
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Cereals
46
(13.9%)
73
(22.1%)
86
(26.1%)
70
(21.2%)
55
(16.7%)
Fruits
81
(24.5%)
138
(41.8%)
71
(21.5%)
30
(9.1%)
10
(3.0%)
Vegetables
111
(33.6%)
153
(46.4%)
38
(11.5%)
20
(6.1%)
8
(2.4%)
Milk
104
(31.5%)
93
(28.2%)
62
(18.8%)
37
(11.2%)
34
(10.3%)
Meat/beef/chicken/fish
109
(33.0%)
160
(48.5%)
37
(11.2%)
13
(3.9%)
11
(3.3%)
Food containing fats
41
(12.4%)
123
(37.3%)
97
(29.4%)
44
(13.3%)
25
(7.6%)
Meal Items
V Often
Often
Rare
V Rare
Never
Drinks containing sugar
50
(15.2%)
124
(37.6%)
81
(24.5%)
47
(14.2%)
28
(8.5%)
Source: Survey
TABLE 2 Snacks at Workplace Items V Often Often Rare V Rare Never Burger 32 (9.7%) 73 (22.1%) 101 (30.6%) 60 (18.2%) 64 (19.4%) Samosa (local pastry) 26 (7.9%) 96 (29.1%) 90 (27.3%) 75 (22.7%) 43 (13.0%) Chat (local dish) 25 (7.6%) 81 (24.5%) 113 (34.2%) 69 (20.9%) 42 (12.7%) Dahibry (local dish) 24 75 89 85 57
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(7.3%) (22.7%) (27.0%) (25.8%) (17.3%) Fries 37 (11.2%) 107 (32.4%) 88 (26.7%) 50 (15.2%) 48 (14.5%) Rice 68 (20.6%) 153 (46.4%) 48 (14.5%) 28 (8.5%) 33 (10.0%) Meal Items V Often Often Rare V Rare Never Salan (curry) 90 (27.3%) 123 (37.3%) 44 (13.3%) 30 (9.1%) 43 (13.0%) Nan (Bread) 75 (22.7%) 121 (36.7%) 60 (18.2%) 38 (11.5%) 36 (10.9%) Drinks/Juices 84 (25.5%) 126 (38.2%) 62 (18.8%) 38 (11.5%) 20 (6.1%) Tea 160 (48.5%) 86 (26.1%) 27 (8.2%) 31 (9.4%) 26 (7.9%)
Source: Survey
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TABLE 3 Physical Activities Exercise V Often Often Rare V Rare Never Regular walk 55 (16.7%) 84 (25.5%) 76 (23.0%) 69 (20.9%) 46 (13.9%) Jogging 12 (3.6%) 32 (9.7%) 48 (14.5%) 57 (17.3%) 181 (54.8%) Bicycling 7 (2.1%) 17 (5.2%) 28 (8.5%) 47 (14.2%) 231 (70.0%) Dancing 11 (3.3%) 42 (12.7%) 27 (8.2%) 54 (16.4%) 196 (59.4%) Badminton 6 (1.8%) 33 (10.0%) 49 (14.8%) 68 (20.6%) 174 (52.7%) Table tennis 5 (1.5%) 19 (5.8%) 28 (8.5%) 48 (14.5%) 230 (69.7%)
Source: Survey
TABLE 4 Household Activities Household Activities V Often Often Rare V Rare Never Cleaning 104 (31.5%) 138 (41.8%) 46 (13.9%) 34 (10.3%) 8 (2.4%) Washing clothes 75 (22.7%) 95 (28.8%) 67 (20.3%) 50 (15.2%) 43 (13.0%) Dish washing 115 (34.8%) 103 (31.2%) 76 (23.0%) 28 (8.5%) 8 (2.4%) Ironing 186 72 34 28 10
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(56.4%) (21.8%) (10.3%) (8.5%) (3.0%) Cooking 115 (34.8%) 106 (32.1%) 69 (20.9%) 21 (6.4%) 19 (5.8%)
Source: Survey
TABLE 5 Sleeping Routines Sleeping Routines V Often Often Rare V Rare Never Difficulty falling sleep at night 26 (7.9%) 88 (26.7%) 99 (30.0%) 62 (18.8%) 55 (16.7%) Difficulty getting up 73 (22.1%) 102 (30.9%) 80 (24.2%) 42 (12.7%) 33 (10.0%) Take nap 29 (8.8%) 63 (19.1%) 101 (30.6%) 82 (24.8%) 55 (16.7%) Wake frequently at night 26 (7.9%) 95 (28.8%) 88 (26.7%) 81 (24.5%) 40 (12.1%) Sleepiness/low energy in day 41 (12.4%) 110 (33.3%) 96 (29.1%) 58 (17.6%) 25 (7.6%) Un-refreshing sleep 31 (9.4%) 87 (26.4%) 110 (33.3%) 60 (18.2%) 42 (12.7%)
Source: Survey
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TABLE 6 Symptoms of Heart Disease Symptoms V Often Often Rare V Rare Never Shortness of breath 24 (7.3%) 62 (18.8%) 76 (23.0%) 57 (17.3%) 111 (33.6%) Palpitation/irregular heart beats 6 (1.8%) 46 (13.9%) 87 (26.4%) 55 (16.7%) 136 (41.2%) Fast heart beat 17 (5.2%) 59 (17.9%) 90 (27.3%) 76 (23.0%) 88 (26.7%) Weakness/dizziness 21 (6.4%) 101 (30.6%) 101 (30.6%) 52 (15.8%) 55 (16.7%) Loss of consciousness 10 (3.0%) 31 (9.4%) 61 (18.5%) 77 (23.3%) 151 (45.8%) Discomfort, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone 7 (2.1%) 54 (16.4%) 84 (25.5%) 83 (25.2%) 102 (30.9%) Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm 11 (3.3%) 42 (12.7%) 100 (30.3%) 76 (23.0%) 101 (30.6%)
Source: Survey
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TABLE 7 Symptoms of Obesity Symptoms V Often Often Rare V Rare Never Breathlessness 12 (3.6%) 62 (18.8%) 68 (20.6%) 57 (17.3%) 131 (39.7%) Sweating a lot 15 (4.5%) 56 (17.0%) 99 (30.0%) 98 (29.7%) 62 (18.8%) Snoring 5 (1.5%) 22 (6.7%) 56 (17.0%) 94 (28.5%) 153 (46.4%) Difficulty in doing daily physical activities 7 (2.1%) 50 (15.2%) 91 (27.6%) 114 (34.5%) 68 (20.6%) Feeling very tired every day 26 (7.8%) 104 (31.5%) 67 (20.3%) 76 (23.0%) 57 (17.3%) Back and joint pains 33 (10.0%) 88 (26.7%) 70 (21.2%) 72 (21.8%) 67 (20.3%) Increased weight 21 (6.4%) 74 (22.4%) 67 (20.3%) 71 (21.5%) 97 (29.4%)
Source: Survey
TABLE 8 Correlations between Health Behavior and Indicators of Health
Variables
R
p
n
Heart problem
.307**
.000
330
Obesity
.248**
.000
330
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
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Aisha Bhatti works as Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Wah, Wah Cantt, Pakistan. She is also a PhD scholar at the International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan. Her research interests include gender, health, and globalization. She can be contacted at aishauw@gmail.com
Dr. Rabia Ali works as Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the International Islamic University Islamabad. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of New South Wales Australia. Her research interests include gender, globalization, ethnographies of development, peace and conflict, higher education and empowerment, gender justice. Some of the courses she teaches at PhD and MS level include “Globalization: Issues and Debates,” “Gender and Discourse,” and “Contemporary Sociological Theories.” Rabia can be contacted at: rabi.aly@gmail.com
Aisha Bhatti & Rabia Ali, 2015
2015, by Aisha Bhatti & Rabia Ali. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Journal

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International Journal for Intersectional Feminist Studies, Volume 1, September 2015,
ISSN 2463-2945
International journal for intersectional feminist studies
The Journal of Project Monma Research Centre
Volume 1, September2015
ISSN 2463-2945
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In this issue
Editorial Collective Team 3
Editorial Collective Report
By Ambika Kohli 4
Lifestyle of Working Women in Modern Organizations: Implications on Health
By Aisha Bhatti & Dr. Rabia Ali 5
Leaders in the desert: The Sahrawi women of Western Sahara
By Johanna Higgs & Dr. Christine Ryan 29
Dealing with allegations of violence against women in a multicultural environment: Consideration of approach(es) and procedure(s) with regards to abuse allegations of women of an Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin in New Zealand.
By Sandra Iskander 40
Forced and Underage Marriages in New Zealand: Some Reflections on Public and Private Patriarchy and Intersectionality
By Ambika Kohli 58
Submission guidelines 71
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Editorial collective team
Macy Santo
Macy was born in the Philippines and grew up in Wellington city. She graduated from Canterbury University in 2013 and has since moved to Germany where she works as an English Professor at Bremen University and a freelance writer. Macy has always been interested in feminist issues, especially issues concerning women of colour.
Ambika Kohli
Ambika Kohli is currently doing her PhD from University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She did her graduation from Delhi University, India and her post-graduation from University of Basque Country, Spain. Her research interests are violence in society, violence against women, women in southern countries, reproductive agency, agency and structure, women’s empowerment within their socio-cultural settings.
Johanna Higgs
Johanna has a Masters degree in International Development and is currently working on her PhD in Anthropology about the child combatants of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) in Colombia. She has travelled through many parts of the world including the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Europe. She has a passion for women’s rights and founded the organization Project Monma which advocates for women’s rights around the world.
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Editorial collective report
It gives me immense pleasure to write the first editorial report on behalf of our editorial collective. International journal for intersectional feminist studies is a publication of Project Monma research centre, and is published with the aim of providing opportunity for young researchers, scholars and postgraduate students to publish their feminist work and share it with the world. The journal also provides the young scholars a chance to peer-review other researchers’ work. This prepares them for future challenges and introduces them to the world of publication.
For the first issue we received diverse submissions on various feminist issues which highlights the different challenges faced by women across the globe. The first article from Aisha Bhatti & Dr. Rabia Ali provides an interesting description of the lifestyle and health of professional Pakistani women. The article sheds light on how social transformation has increased the burden of both paid work and unpaid domestic work on these women which affects their health.
In “Leaders in the desert: The Sahrawi women of Western Sahara” Johanna Higgs & Dr. Christine Ryan discuss the experiences they had with Sahrawi women in refugee camps in Southern Algeria. Higgs and Ryan elucidate that Sahrawi women are empowered and the main challenges they face are coping with the hot weather, water scarcity and achieving independence rather than patriarchy.
Sandra Iskander, in her article on forced marriages in New Zealand focuses on the gaps in current New Zealand legislation. These gaps indicate the current legislation is not enough to provide protection to the female victims of forced marriages from African, Middle Eastern and African communities living in New Zealand.
In our last article, Ambika Kohli, discusses the New Zealand government’s reluctance to pass specific legislation on forced marriages. Kohli argues that this suggests that the current legislation is based on the ideology of public patriarchy that is mainly experienced of by European women in New Zealand. However, the multicultural fabric of the New Zealand society.
In closing I would like to thank all our contributors, our peer-reviewers, our editorial collective team, Sionainn Byrnes from UC Fem Soc (University of Canterbury Feminist Society), and UC Fem Soc. For any inquiries regarding the journal please contact
Ambika Kohli
ako35@uclive.ac.nz
Kind regards
Ambika Kohli
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Submission guidelines
The International journal for intersectional feminist studies is a peer-reviewed journal. The editorial collective invites submissions on feminist issue. We encourage young scholars, postgraduate and undergraduate students to contribute. However, you do not necessarily need to be a young researcher or student in order to make a submission. Submission guidelines are as follows:
Full Papers: 6000 – 8000 words.
Research Reports: 2500 – 3000 words.
Literature Reviews: 1000 – 2000 words.
Please ensure that your manuscript conforms to the following guidelines before submission:
1. Use Times New Roman font, 12 point font size, and 1.5 line spacing.
2. Use 14 point font size for headings
3. Submit your manuscript in MS word format.
4. Use endnotes and not footnotes.
5. First pages should include the name of the author or authors, author designations, affiliated institutes or research centres, and contact details (email address, phone number, and physical address if relevant).
6. Second pages should provide an abstract of no more than 250 words with listed keywords underneath (keywords are not included in the abstract word count).
7. Use page numbers, but do not include a header or footer with any identifying information.
8. A biography for all authors should be submitted separately.
9. Use in-text citation (not footnotes) and follow APA referencing.
10. Provide a properly formatted reference list at the end of your manuscript.
11. Use British and not American spelling (ise not ize).
12. Do not use sexist language (humankind not mankind).
13. Spell out numbers from zero to ten in full as well as any number that begins a sentence, thereafter use numerals.
14. Quotes of more than three lines should be single spaced and indented.
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15. Use the ellipsis (. . .) to show that something has been omitted from a quote. Ellipses must be used in incomplete quotes, but not to introduce quotes.
16. Use square brackets to enclose an interpolation in a quote e.g. [sic].
17. Use single quotation marks to emphasise or distinguish a term or idea from the main body of text. Quotes should use double quotation marks, but a quote within a quote should use single quotation marks.
18. Arrange your manuscript in the following way:
a. Title
b. Author Name(s), Designations, Affiliations, and Contact Details
c. Abstract (250 words) and Keywords
d. Introduction
e. Body of Text
f. Conclusion
g. Endnotes
h. Reference List
19. Please email your manuscript to: ako35@uclive.ac.nz

Project Monma Journal

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST STUDIES
CALL FOR PAPERS

The International Journal for Intersectional Feminist Studies (IJFIFS) is a half-yearly peer-reviewed academic journal produced by the Project Monma research centre. It aims to publish research, reports, and literature reviews relating to intersectional feminist theory and/or relevant to issues of gender broadly (the way that gender is represented, codified, consumed, or challenged within certain contexts, for example). IJFIFS is designed to be an interdisciplinary journal, and it encourages young scholars and students within all relevant disciplines to submit their work for publication.

Accordingly we invite contributions. The call for our issue is general, so as long as articles deal with issues of gender and/or relate to intersectional feminist theory we are happy to consider them for publication. Contributions will be blind peer-reviewed, and submitted work should be original and not published or under consideration for publication elsewhere. All communication, including manuscripts and general enquiries, should be directed to ako35@uclive.ac.nz and journal@projectmonma.co.

Submission Guidelines for Authors

Full Papers: 6000 – 8000 words.
Research Reports: 2500 – 3000 words.
Literature Reviews: 1000 – 2000 words.
Please ensure that your manuscript conforms to the following guidelines before submission:
1. Use Times New Roman font, 12 point font size, and 1.5 line spacing.
2. Use 14 point font size for headings
3. Submit your manuscript in MS word format.
4. Use endnotes and not footnotes.
5. First page should include the name of the author or authors, author designations, affiliated institutes or research centres, and contact details (email address, phone number, and physical address if relevant).
6. Second page should provide an abstract of no more than 250 words with listed keywords underneath (keywords are not included in the abstract word count).
7. Use page numbers, but do not include a header or footer with any identifying information.
8. A biography for all authors should be submitted separately.
9. Use in-text citation (not footnotes) and follow APA referencing.
10. Provide a properly formatted reference list at the end of your manuscript.
11. Use British and not American spelling (ise not ize).
12. Do not use sexist language (humankind not mankind).
13. Spell out numbers from zero to ten in full as well as any number that begins a sentence, thereafter use numerals.
14. Quotes of more than three lines should be single spaced and indented.
15. Use the ellipsis (. . .) to show that something has been omitted from a quote. Ellipses must be used in incomplete quotes, but not to introduce quotes.
16. Use square brackets to enclose an interpolation in a quote e.g. [sic].
17. Use single quotation marks to emphasise or distinguish a term or idea from the main body of text. Quotes should use double quotation marks, but a quote within a quote should use single quotation marks.
18. Arrange your manuscript in the following way:
a. Title
b. Author Name(s), Designations, Affiliations, and Contact Details
c. Abstract (250 words) and Keywords
d. Introduction
e. Body of Text
f. Conclusion
g. Endnotes
h. Reference List
19. Please email your manuscript to: ako35@uclive.ac.nz and journal@projectmonma.co.