Information on forced marriage among Sikhs and whether Sikhism favours this practice [IND18195.E]

According to Introduction to Sikhism, a publication of the World Sikh Organization, "in Sikhism, there's complete equality between sexes. Women can ... claim all rights enjoyed by Sikh men .... 'Eve' ... is not regarded as temptation-incarnate but as 'the conscience of men'" (n.d., 17). The source states that there are no restrictions regarding the question of choosing a spouse, although some women may want to consult their parents about the choice of a husband (ibid., 18).

According to a volunteer at the South Asia Women's Community Centre in Montréal, who is visiting from Delhi, there are few if any incidents of forced marriage among Sikhs (16 Aug. 1994). This source states that although there might be a certain amount of pressure from the woman's parents to marry young it is rarely forceful (ibid.). This last point is substantiated by the secretary of the Federation of Sikh Societies in Canada who states that arranged marriages are prevalent among Sikhs but the couple is not forced to the altar (16 Aug. 1994).

For information on arranged marriages among Sikhs and forced and arranged marriages in rural and urban areas of India, please consult the attached Response to Information Request IND15693.E of 12 November 1993.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Federation of Sikh Societies in Canada, Ottawa. 16 August 1994. Telephone interview with secretary.

Sidhu, G.S. n.d. Introduction to Sikhism. Vancouver, BC: World Sikh Organization.

South Asia Women's Community Centre, Montréal. 16 August 1994. Telephone interview with volunteer.


Documentation, Information and Research Branch (DIRB). Immigration and Refugee Board, Ottawa. 12 November 1993. Response to Information Request IND15693.E.

Sidhu, G.S. n.d. Introduction to Sikhism. Vancouver, BC: World Sikh Organization, pp. 17-18.