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Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation

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Female Genital Mutilation

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  1. Female Genital Mutilation

  2. What is Female Genital Mutilation? • Typically performed on young girls • Chances of infection high • Tools of the trade include: • Broken glass • Scissors • Razor blades • Anesthetics rarely used • Endanger physical and mental well-being

  3. Why are Female Genital Mutilations Performed? • Primarily done to ensure abstinence before marriage, and fidelity after marriage. • If women get no pleasure from intercourse, they will not have sex when unnecessary for procreation or marital relations. • Done under the blanket of “Tradition”

  4. CEDAW: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women • Seeks to eliminate discrimination in all forms • Sees FGM as an irreprehensible form of discrimination against women

  5. CEDAW Ratification/Signing • CEDAW has been signed and ratified by many relevant countries, including: • Canada (Dec 10, 1981) • France (Dec 12, 1983) • England (UK) (April 7, 1986) • Germany (July 10, 1985) • Italy (June 10, 1985) • Mostly ratified by countries in the Americas and Europe

  6. Reservations on CEDAW • Not all countries embrace CEDAW • Reservist countries include: • Angola • Botswana • Chad • Kenya • Niger Many countries experience the presence of FGM, but sub-Saharan Africa sees highest rates by far – nearly 100% in some locales.

  7. Violations of CEDAW by FGM • Article 12 – Women’s Choice • Family Planning • Health Care • Well-Being • Article 6 – Exploitation of Women

  8. “I have a dream: No Female Genital Mutilation!” • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s approach likely one of peaceful pleading, protesting, speeches. • Approach of “Ultimate Love” would contradict practices like FGM

  9. Sophie Scholl: Inform the Public • Inform the people of the crime against humanity • Stand for what is right, according to your beliefs, to the bitter end

  10. Scholl and King • Foundational approach likely to be complete failure • FGM protagonists from different background and belief system Where’s the common ground on which to argue a foundational belief? Here comes the anti-foundational approach!

  11. Ethics Without Principles • Principles create a support system for ethics • Traditional does not mean ethical • Culture dictates what is ethical for each society • Advantage is in order in society • Foundation not necessary to establish laws and ethical systems • Anti-foundational approach can improve one’s view of a society that does not have what is considered to be an ‘ethical foundation’

  12. Anti-Foundational Perspective “Here in the safe countries we find ourselves saying things like, ‘That’s how things have always been,’ suggesting that unlike us, people are used to being raped and castrated.” –Richard Rorty