Key Historical Thinkers

Several early feminists critiqued marriage as a form of de facto slavery, or an institution with significant similarities to slavery, making it in vital need of reform. Although their stance can be controversial, and may risk conflating chattel slavery with other, less egregious, forms of exploitation, their analysis of how institutions and practices similar to slavery can exist even where slavery is not legal because of legal limitations, social expectations, religious codes, and economic barriers provides some useful starting points for conceptualising forced marriage as a form of slavery.

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