'Entrenched Customs Die Hard...' Can Harmful Traditional Practices Be Justified by Cultural Relativism of Human Rights? Case Study of FGM
10 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 25, 2010
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” Martin Luther King. In my paper I would like to examine views of universalists and cultural relativists on the issue of human rights, in order to find out whether human rights are strictly a Western idea – whether they were present in all cultures or created in the Western culture in the eighteenth century. If they in fact were created in the Western civilization, would that mean they do not apply to certain parts of the globe? If so, are some people to enjoy smaller scope of rights than others?
I will relate it to legitimacy of controversial traditional practices, specifically, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which is going to be used as a case study.
Keywords: Dignity, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Human Rights, Universal standards
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