Jasvinder Sanghera

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Jasvinder Sanghera

Jasvinder Sanghera

1965 (age 52–53)
Derby, England
OccupationPublic speaking
Known forActivism against forced marriages and honour based abuse

Jasvinder Sanghera, CBE (born September 1965)[2][3] is a campaigner for those experiencing forced marriages and "honour based" abuse.


Jasvinder Sanghera was born and brought up in Derby, England. As a teenager she refused a forced marriage and ran away from home. Her sisters all had arranged marriages, some as young as 15, being physically and psychologically abused. In 1993, Sanghera founded Karma Nirvana, a national award-winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour-based abuse and forced marriages.

She is a speaker and has been an expert witness. Her memoir Shame was a Times Top 10 Bestseller. She has been recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain and the then Prime Minister David Cameron said her work "turned [his] head on the issue of forced marriage". Her work is recognised as being relevant to creation of a specific UK forced-marriage criminal offence in 2014. She has received numerous awards, including the Window to the World Award at the 2007 Women of the Year Lunch.[4] She was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby in 2009.[5]

She was given the Special Recognition award at the Pride of Britain Awards in 2009,[6] and was named Cosmopolitan magazine's "Ultimate Woman's Woman (Avon's award)" winner in 2010.[7] In 2011 she was listed in The Guardian's Top 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World.[8] She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of her "services to victims of forced marriage and honour-hased violence" [9].


In 2018 Sanghera made allegations of sexual misconduct against Lord Lester of Herne Hill. The allegations related to matters said to have taken place some 12 years earlier. They were disputed and were the subject of an investigation by the Commissioner on behalf of the House of Lords Committee for Privileges and Conduct to which the Commissioner reported. Sanghera's anonymity was preserved during the investigation and the reports were redacted on publication. Sanghera herself disclosed her identity by giving a press interview when her complaint was initially upheld. However, on 15 November 2018, on a vote (101-78) on the floor of the House of Lords, the recommendation of the Committee that Lord Lester be suspended from membership of the House of Lords was not accepted. This was on the basis that the investigating procedure had not been fair, in particular because it did not allow for challenge of Sanghera's allegations by way of cross examination. The matter was remitted to the Committee because the Commissioner for Standards had failed to comply with paragraph 21 of the relevant Code of Conduct which required the Commissioner to act in accordance with the principles of natural justice and fairness.[10][11][12]


  1. Shame ISBN 978-0340924600 (25 Jan 2007)
  2. Daughters of Shame ISBN 978-0340997826 (6 Aug 2009)
  3. Shame Travels (2011)


  1. ^ "Jasvinder Sanghera". Desert Island Discs. 24 March 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  2. ^ Sanghra, Jasvinder (2011). Shame Travels. Timeline of Jasvinder's life.
  3. ^ "Jasvinder Sanghera - Doctor of the University". University of Derby. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  4. ^ "2007". Women of the Year. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Honorands". University of Derby. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Special Recognition: Jasvinder Sanghera". Pride of Britain Awards. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Cosmo's Ultimate Women of the Year Awards". Cosmopolitan. London. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  8. ^ Saner, Emine (8 March 2011). "Top 100 women: activists and campaigners: Jasvinder Sanghera". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  9. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/405478/BD2013_Honours_List.csv/preview
  10. ^ Mikhailova, Anna (14 November 2018). "Up to 100 peers expected to try and block Lord Lester's suspension for sexual harassment". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  11. ^ Walker, Peter (15 November 2018). "Peers block Lord Lester's suspension over harassment claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Committee for Privileges and Conduct: Division 1". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Lords. 15 November 2018.