The equality and integration minister, Manu Sareen, plans to focus on honour-related conflicts in his new equality plan due to a growing number of requests from young immigrants. The plan (in Danish) was sent to parliament on February 28.
Honour-related conflicts arise when family members invoke the honour of their family code to compel other family members to obey them. Matters of education, employment and marriage are all sources of conflicts, and in extreme cases, committing a crime or even murder.
Not the time to relax
”We cannot relax just because we have come a long way," Sareen explained in a press release at the time.
"Unfortunately the repression of young people is still widespread among immigrant families – especially of girls. They are not allowed to make decisions regarding their own body and what they want to do. We should make a clear stand against this."
Empowerment is key
The Equality and Integration Ministry proposes an educational empowerment project directed at girl clubs in vulnerable urban areas and a mentor programme for 18 to 25-year-old immigrant women, who due to honour-related conflicts have ceased contact with their everyday networks. Another proposal is to establish a fund to finance initiatives creating knowledge and advice about equality and social conflict – for example in public school and among parents.
The plan is based on numbers gathered by Landsorganisation for Kvindekrisecentre (LOKK), a lobby group working to prevent and fight violence against women, which showed that there has been an increase in the number of requests regarding honour-related conflicts from 101 in 2005 to 1,146 in 2013. However, the organisation does not perceive the increase in the number of requests as part of a growing problem.
Young people more aware
"Rather it is an indication that there are more young people who are now aware we are here and want help," said Susanne Fabricius, a team leader at LOKK. "They are also more influenced by the surrounding majority culture."
Fabricius emphasised that young people with a minority ethnic background increasingly react to the big differences between the standards set by their parents and the surrounding society.
However, she welcomed the initiative to create knowledge and advice about equality and social conflict at public schools.
"It is important to talk about equality for different groups as early as possible – preferably already starting in public school," Fabricius said.
The ministry expects the initiatives to be carried out in 2014.