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The University of Southampton
The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development

Southall Black Sisters

Southall Black Sisters
Southall Black Sisters

Women’s Rights Activists

In the history in the UK, the Southall Black Sisters (SBS) symbolises the continued struggle of south Asian and black women’s rights. Over the past four decades, this third-sector body has challenged all forms of abuse perpetrated against women.

SBS has pioneered the empowerment of to gain more control over their lives and live without fear, as well as asserting a woman’s rights to justice, equality and freedom.

The campaign group's champions have been Pragna Patel, Meena Patel and Hannana Siddiqui.

In 1980, SBS successfully campaigned to stop “virginity tests” being carried out on Asian women arriving in Britain to marry their husbands. The organisation also stopped the one-Year Rule, where a husband and wife had to live together for at least one year before the immigrant spouse was allowed to apply for residency in Britain.

Throughout its existence SBS has been brave in tackling unpalatable truths in the Asian communities. For example, it highlighted the then hidden issues of domestic violence, forced marriage and so-called honour-based killings when others failed to do so.

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