Female Genital Mutilation: Children of the United Kingdom Essay

Female Genital Mutilation: Children of the United Kingdom Essay

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Eric K. Silverman writes that the practice of FGM challenges ideas of inter alia cultural relativism and universalism. Those who protect the practice of FGM argue that if the West imposes their views on people of other cultures, this is a form of new colonialism, and those who try to eliminate the practice see their actions as the protection of human rights, he argues. Indeed, there are a plethora of cultures in the world, and many of these cultures have been suppressed in times of colonialism. No one can justify that their culture is 'higher' or better than someone else’s so that it gives them the power to change another's culture; all people within a culture follow their perceptions of a 'good' life, and since there is no consensus about what is 'good', protection of cultures ensures that equality of people is guaranteed. The right to culture is captured in article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in which it is stated that “everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community,” which means that also women should have the power to change their culture. However, if in a culture a group of people is suppressed, this is not in line with the concept of equality. Rikki Holtmaat and Jonneke Nabar point out in their book Women's Human Rights and Culture: From Deadlock to Dialogue that the right to Culture is often used as an excuse for “bad behaviour,” or the violations of women's human rights: People's 'Culture' would not allow for equality of the sexes, according to these people. FGM can be seen as a practice that violates the equality between the sexes, for it takes away the sexual freedom of women to make them more 'loyal' to their husbands. This depicts that FGM is a means that susta...


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...utilation is a practice that violates the rights of children, for it is discriminatory and harms their rights to choose their own culture and to choose what happens to their bodies. Furthermore, it has to be investigated whether women truly support the practice, or that their support is influenced by the idea that women are lower in rank than men because of persistent discrimination. Discrimination against all human beings should be banned, for it violates the right to equality of all people, which I consider to be the foundation of human rights. In order to bring justice to the girls who have undergone FGM against their will, legislature in the UK needs to be changed to make it easier to prosecute the perpetrators of this harmful practice. Hopefully, this will lead to the decline discrimination on the basis of gender, which unfortunately still exists in this world.

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Female Genital Mutilation: Children of the United Kingdom Essay

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