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Moving beyond the hierarchical knowledge/power nexus in anti-Female circumcision campaigns in Africa
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4505-1683
2013 (English)In: Health Education: Parental and educator’s perspectives, current practices and needs assessment / [ed] Yvon B.Laroc and Denis C. Gustave, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2013, 1, p. 1-62Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One controversial issue of unending emotional debate between Western and Non-Western societies pitting relativists against universalists is the ritual practice of female genital cutting (FGC).This debate mirrors larger issues of power about the social construction of reality and the positionality of actors, dichotomies between Western and Non-Western societies as well as a paradigmatic clash between modern/scientific knowledge and local knowledge systems and practices. This essay argues that there can be a synergy between modern and local knowledge systems in anti-FGC campaigns and not the outright rejection of the latter as “superstition” since both knowledge systems are not antithetical to each other. Based on ethnographic interviews from Cameroon and Sierra Leone, this chapter attempts an explanation of why decades of negative publicity which is the anchor of most anti-FGC activism, laws forbidding the practice and human rights activism has not been matched by any noticeable behavioural changes in attitudes and practices regarding this ritual practice. The chapter argues that the multi-dimensionality of ritual FGC as well as the entanglement of anti-FGC campaigns at both the global and local scales in unequal power relationships negatively affects these sensitization campaigns and has instead led to the hardening of identities and resistance at the local level. It suggests that to build effective dialogue and move the campaigns forward, interveners must adopt contextualism by “wearing native spectacles’’. They must think globally and act locally. In other words, they should set aside their Western cultural baggage on the normative conception of gender identity, sexuality and feminine personhood, be self-reflexive, and adopt listening to participants as well as an intersectionalist approach.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2013, 1. p. 1-62
Series
Healthcare Issues, Costs and Access
Keywords [en]
Health education, Female Circumcision, Power hierarchies, local Knowledge/Scientific Knowledge
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-33444ISBN: 978-1-62948-206-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-33444DiVA, id: diva2:708858
Available from: 2014-03-30 Created: 2014-03-30 Last updated: 2015-01-29Bibliographically approved

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Pemunta, Ngambouk Vitalis

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf