Roehampton criminology expert on birthday honours list for work on forced marriages

A Roehampton University criminology professor is to be honoured by her Majesty after years of work on forced marriages, honour crime and violence against women.

Professor Aisha K. Gill Ph.D was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on Friday.

Professor Gill received the honour after eighteen years of work around honour crimes and violence against women, particularly ethnic minorities.

She said: “I’m elated and incredibly humbled to be awarded this honour given my modest Punjabi working class roots.

“As an academic and grassroots activist, I remain concerned that we are not doing enough to address the pernicious levels of violence against women in black and minority ethnic and refugee communities.

“I dedicate this award to the memory of my mother, and to all those women and children affected by gender based violence and abuse – this award is yours too.”

Professor Gill’s research has also given her the opportunity to advise the Government, Ministry of Justice and Scotland Yard on issues with legal policy related to honour killings and forced marriage.

She has also challenged politicians to be more considerate of ethnic minority groups in association with gender-based violence when discussing policy.

Professor Gill added: “I truly believe that we should be doing more to create services that will properly address the long term requirements of these women and their families so as to support them in rebuilding their lives after abuse.

“I hope this award also recognises the importance of Social Science research in highlighting the complex causes of this violence and giving voice to the hidden experiences of those suffering in this way.”

So-called ‘honour killings’ have become a rising issue in the UK, with cases ranging from forced marriages to genitial mutiliation.

Data obtained by The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation showed that 11,000 honour crimes were recorded in the UK from 2010-2014.

Many British victims are taken abroad before the acts take place, as a loophole for many honour criminals avoiding conviction.

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