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The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


Theories surrounding public policy, feminism, and neocolonialism intersect to produce an understanding of the gendered narratives used by politicians to advance their policy agendas. This paper explores how the use of these gendered narratives in British immigration policy toward South Asians—by the government, activists, and the media—reinforces racial bias and co-opts issues of gender-based violence to promote alternate, sometimes racially charged, policy goals. Through a case study on forced marriage, this paper explores how stakeholders perpetuate gendered narratives in forced marriage, security, and immigration policy. This analysis concludes that using an intersectional intimate partner violence policy, rather than specific forced marriage or immigration policies, is a more culturally sensitive approach to addressing the issue. Considering alternate policy approaches to forced marriage demonstrates how gendered narratives subvert attention from issues of gender to those of other, often racialized, policy issues.

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