In “Stamping out FGM” http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2012/stamping-out-fgm/ Will Bordell writes about the ease with which we can “fall into … relativist quicksand” and mentions Dr Richard Shweder who “is convinced that ‘many African women view [the clitoris] as an unbidden, unwanted, ugly and vestigial male-like element that should be removed’. In the guise of ‘tolerance’ for the beliefs and practices of other cultures, what is revealed is a shameless double standard, a prescription for inaction and indifference in the face of the most horrendous cruelty, a blank cheque for tyrants and oppressors. We mustn’t let the wool be pulled over our eyes.” This is a courageous article that challenges cultural relativism on FGM, and I have made similar arguments. Putting ANTHR/APOLOGISTS into google brings you directly to my review of a “respected” volume on genital “cutting” which excuses perpetrators and abets the infliction of suffering. (Thanks to Sarah McCulloch for placing the review in the ACCM newsletter.) See http://www.accmuk.com/fgm_factsheet_1.pdf
See also, in a broader context, the Special Issue on FGM, Feminist Europa. Review of Books: http://www.ddv-verlag.de/issn_1570_0038_FE%2009_2010.pdf The critique has been carried as well by the Journal on Female Genital Mutilation and Other Harmful Traditional Practices. Scientific Organ of the IAC [Inter-African Committee]. University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. IAC 25th Anniversary Issue. 3/1, 2010 (& 2/2). pp. 52-61.
|High Level Side Event on Female Genital Mutilation highlights the need for a Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly|
|New York, 25 September 2012
The campaign for a worldwide Ban on FGM is approaching an historical turning point, which could be a milestone in the protection of fundamental rights of Girls and Women. The issue of FGM will be discussed at the 67th Session of the Unted Nations General Assembly (UNGA) under the agenda item “Advancement for Women”. On the eve of the opening of the UNGA General Debate, the Missions of Burkina Faso and Benin to the United Nations, with the support of No Peace Without Justice together with its partners in the International NGO Coalition to Ban FGM Worldwide, organised a High Level Side event called “Intensifying Global Efforts for Eliminating FGM” to bring visibility on this issue.
Please visit the website www.banfgm.org for further information on the campaign as well as the complete list of signatories to date.