Family Pressures

(This is a current extract from the Patterns of Power Repository.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition02/4321.htm)

Family pressures are particularly powerful:

·      The emotional cost of exclusion is very high, affecting an individual’s sense of security.

·      There may be financial dependence, affecting children and people who are not in paid employment (3.4.6).  This may tilt the relationship in a way which treats dependents as less than equal – thereby affecting their human rights (4.2.4).

As an example, these factors come together in the thorny question of arranged marriages.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:

“Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.” (Article 16)

But family pressure can be very strong, particularly for young women who don't want to leave their families and who may not have financial independence, so the expression “free and full consent” might in practice mean a reluctant decision to choose family over affection.

© PatternsofPower.org, 2014