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Faith Communities — Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:03 pm on 29th May 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Flather Baroness Flather Crossbench 12:03 pm, 29th May 2012

My Lords, not everything in the garden is rosy. I must say that there are a few thorns among the roses. We really need to be more aware of what is happening to many of the women in the faith communities in this country. Noble Lords would expect me to speak about this subject. There are forced marriages and honour killings, and there is the rise of Sharia family law, which discriminates against women. Every child over seven automatically goes to the father; women cannot obtain Sharia divorces and, if they do not get Sharia divorces, the man can claim the children and the wife at any time, anywhere. So we have to look at the negatives as well.

I admire the Queen more than anybody else. I live in Maidenhead and have been mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead. She is a wonderful person; I wonder whether she knows what is happening to women. I would say to all people here from faith communities that they should remember that none of the faiths has ever supported women.