Forced and arranged marriages, a day of reflection and study in Cesena

Forced and arranged marriages, a reality of the past well rooted in the present. To date, there are 60 million arranged marriages; 146 countries in which it is legal to get married under the age of 18. The phenomenon, in its crude drama, also closely affects Italy which, with reference to the last few years alone, records 24 cases of forced marriages represented by the case of Saman Abbas, the Pakistani girl who disappeared in the Reggio area after opposing the wedding with the cousin. Precisely from the analysis of this context, Thursday 26 January at 9.15 am, at the Cinema Eliseo (Viale Giosuè Carducci, 7), will start the day of study organized, as part of the SAI project of the Valle Savio Union, by the Centro Intercultural “MoviMenti”. The training morning, which will be introduced by greetings from the Councilor for Services for People and Families Carmelina Labruzzo, will focus on specific issues through the interventions of experts such as Tiziana Del Pra, founder of Trama of Terre Onlus, and the lawyer Cristina Cecchini: forced marriages as a form of gender violence; national rules for the prevention and protection of victims; guidelines for understanding and interpreting the phenomenon; the protection of women seeking international protection. After a brief interval, it will resume at 12 with an analysis of the national contexts of origin of immigrant families and girls and with a focus on second generation girls living in Italy.

At 18 the works will be introduced by the presentation of the book “Free, our NO to forced marriages” (Ed. Paperfirst, 2022) by Martina Castigliani. Fatima, Yasmine, Zoya, Khadija and X are five girls who have decided to rebel against forced marriages. To be free they gave up everything: they fled far from home, they broke all ties with their family, they were forced to change their identities. In this book they tell each other exclusively, despite the risks: the rejection was never accepted and they are still in danger today. If they have decided to expose themselves, it is “for all the others”, forced to suffer violence. A choral book and an investigation into a phenomenon that affects hundreds of invisible people. In Italy, there is talk of forced marriages if a girl is killed: Saman Abbas is only the latest case exploited by politics and talk shows. The author Martina Castigliani, Tiziana Del Pra, also an activist for women’s rights, Antonella Brunelli, Director of the Pediatrics Unit and Family Consulting Offices of Cesena, Maria Elena Baredi, President of Asp Cesena-Valle Savio will intervene. Elena Magalotti of the Municipal Women’s Center will moderate.

At 20.30 the Councilor for Inclusion and Culture Carlo Verona will open the second part of the day which will feature the screening in the original language with Italian subtitles of the film “Sonita” (2015) by the Iranian filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami. The title is none other than the name of the protagonist, an eighteen-year-old who emigrated from Afghanistan to Iran as a child, who lives in Tehran in a makeshift home, together with her sister and a niece, and is protected by an immigrant support center where he works and follows his school studies. Sonita has the habit of visually representing her dreams in a diary: she would like to become a rapper, her role model is Rihanna, because her previous experiences as a pop singer did not allow her to fully express her discomfort or to tell her own teenage experiences. Experiences that intertwine with an Afghan culture made up of submissive women, child brides sold in marriage from an early age as if they were sheep, bargaining chips with which every parent thinks he can get money to support the rest of the family, pay off debts or even buy even some expensive items. Sonita goes around the various recording studios in Tehran with a friend in search of someone who can finance the recording of one of her songs, in an alternation of denials, doubts or possible glimmers of opportunity from the various small producers that the two meet in their difficult journey. Surprisingly, one day the girl receives a visit from her mother, who, having arrived in Tehran, announces that she wants to take her back to Herat in Afghanistan to sell her in marriage for 9,000 dollars, an amount that would allow her brother the dowry to be able to marry, or buy him too how he marries another woman.

Forced and arranged marriages, a day of reflection and study in Cesena –