Jasvinder Sanghera CBE
Author & advocate for women's rights in the UK

Jasvinder was fifteen when she ran away from home to escape a forced marriage to a much older man she’d never met. She had to move constantly, wary of being tracked down for betraying her family’s honour. Her three years in hiding ended with the news that her sister had committed suicide by setting herself alight. Her story is one of terrible oppression, a harrowing struggle against a punitive code of honour and finally, triumph over adversity.

She is the founder of Karma Nirvana, a national award winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages. She is a highly acclaimed international speaker and an expert advisor to the courts in matters of child, civil and criminal proceedings, is a chair of domestic homicide reviews and was instrumental in ensuring that all UK police forces are required to improve their understanding of honour based abuse and forced marriage by inspections conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. Her memoir Shame was a Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller.

Jasvinder is recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain and Prime Minister David Cameron stated that her work ‘turned my head on the issue of forced marriage’. Her work is recognised as being pivotal to the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014. She has received numerous awards including the prestigious Woman of the Year 2007. She was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby in 2008. She was awarded The Pride of Britain Award in 2009 and was named Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year in 2010. In 2011 she was listed in the Guardian’s top 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World and in 2012 received the Global Punjabi Award. She was awarded Commander of the British Empire in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse and also featured in the British institution ‘Desert Island Discs’. In 2014 she was awarded Legal Campaigner of the Year and in 2016 received the International Woman Award for human rights from the Italian media.

She has appeared on, amongst others, BBC’s HardTalk and ITV’s This Morning and is regularly called upon as talking head by the media on cases relating to this field.

Eloquent and vivacious, Jasvinder tells her story with humour and humanity while providing a fascinating insight into issues of honour in the Asian community.

Adversity, Change, Diversity & Equality, Human Rights & Philanthropy, Motivation

She was an enthusiastic, compelling and well thought-out speaker. More like this please!
Feedback after speaking at the National Women's Network
Most interesting and informative talk - and particularly as Jasvinder was speaking from personal experience. She shed a very clear light on closed communities and deserves a very wide audience.
Feedback after speaking at the National Women's Network
Jasvinder is an inspirational woman.... Her talk was so informative. The best speaker we have had.
Feedback after speaking at the National Women's Network
Possibly the most interesting talk I have ever attended anywhere. Jasvinder is an inspiring speaker... What a wonderful woman, and what a very important subject for the UK.
Feedback after speaking at the National Women's Network
Jasvinder delivers a powerful and emotional message with a distinctly human touch – inspiring, thought-provoking and captivating from beginning to end.
Paul Rushworth
Director of Sixth Form, The Grammar School at Leeds
So many people have so much to thank her for. Jasvinder is a great asset to Refuge and I would like to congratulate her and thank her for her commitment and energy...
Sandra Horley OBE
Chief Executive of Refuge
A vivid, honest and deeply moving narrative of despair, courage and hope.
Lord Lester
Jasvinder’s lecture was astonishing. Her presentation skills are second to none... I would recommend her unreservedly for any lecture programme.
David Elstone
Principal at Hymers College
She is an extremely powerful presenter and someone who I would gladly listen to again and again...
Lynette Williams
Executive Officer at De Montfort University