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Thu Jul 24, 2014, 08:08 AM

Patriarchy allows child marriage and female genital mutilation to flourish

As young feminists, we often hear that the rights of girls need to be recognised, their voices amplified and their needs met. We are told that when girls are empowered, they can change their communities and the world.

That is a lot of pressure to put on the shoulders of girls. This raises the question: why, with all this interest in girls, are their rights violated in every country?

The Girl Summit in London, UK, this week has generated momentum and opportunities for funding to end child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). While that is commendable, if we look beyond the pledges and outcome of the summit, it is evident that these harmful practices are connected to other injustices girls endure.

Statistics show 30 million girls are at risk of FGM in the next decade, and, each year, about 14 milliongirls are forced to marry before they are ready. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN convention on the rights of the child should prevent such injustices, yet girls' basic rights to health, education and security remain unmet. As young feminists, we know that patriarchy perpetuates the idea that girls are of less value, which leads to their systematic neglect in economic, political, social, legal and educational realms.

Forcibly removing part of a girl's vagina is a way to control her sexuality, her right to choice and her right to freedom. FGM tends to happen with the complicity of families, communities and police, who not only do not report the crime, but often try to hide it. Patriarchy allows them to do this with impunity.

The commitments made at the Girl Summit on eradicating FGM and child marriage, the focus on tougher laws (including putting the onus on parents to protect girls from FGM) and increased funding for prevention programmes are important steps to combat these harmful practices. But until we link these issues to girls' lack of education, poverty, marginalisation and exclusion in the patriarchal societies in which they live, little will change.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/jul/24/patriarchy-child-marriage-female-genital-mutilation-fgm-feminism

25 replies, 3039 views

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Patriarchy allows child marriage and female genital mutilation to flourish (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jul 2014 OP
Squinch Jul 2014 #1
theHandpuppet Jul 2014 #10
Squinch Jul 2014 #17
theHandpuppet Jul 2014 #18
Name removed Jul 2014 #19
Name removed Jul 2014 #22
ismnotwasm Jul 2014 #23
theHandpuppet Jul 2014 #24
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2014 #2
Name removed Jul 2014 #3
Sheldon Cooper Jul 2014 #4
cyberswede Jul 2014 #5
Sheldon Cooper Jul 2014 #6
cyberswede Jul 2014 #7
Sheldon Cooper Jul 2014 #9
Name removed Jul 2014 #11
Sheldon Cooper Jul 2014 #12
redqueen Jul 2014 #8
ismnotwasm Jul 2014 #25
toby jo Jul 2014 #13
pnwmom Jul 2014 #14
Name removed Jul 2014 #16
perdita9 Jul 2014 #15
Squinch Jul 2014 #20
theHandpuppet Jul 2014 #21

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 08:54 AM

1. And now ISIS has declared that it is FGM is mandatory where they hold sway.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:49 AM

10. This is a frightening development

FGM has primarily been practiced in sub-Saharan countries and not in the Middle East. A map can be found at this link: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28412179

What I found interesting about this map is that in virtually every country where FGM is practiced, the numbers of girls subjected to FGM exceeds even the percentage of Muslims among the population -- which tells me this is as much cultural as religious. That fact alone supports the idea that the root cause is patriarchal and religion has been exploited to support it. I suspect that's what we're seeing now with ISIS - patriarchal fanaticism.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 11:44 AM

17. That is a really interesting fact. I did not know that.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 12:06 PM

18. All patriarchal religions must be suspect

Have all modern religions evolved from patriarchal cultures or have they simply been exploited to supplant the ancient matriarchy? Is this one of those chicken and egg debates? I can't say but I do know that all patriarchal religions have distorted and dismissed the role of women both culturally and historically. This is not a static process, either, as we are now witnessing in countries around the globe. Question is, just what is it we are witnessing? Is it patriarchal extremism or religious extremism?

Below is an article I was going to post the other day but decided against it as I thought it might appear OT for HoF but given our current discussion I think it provides an example apropos of the continuing de-evolution of women's status and roles in patriarchal religions.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/who-was-mary-magdalene-prostitute-sinner-apostle-of-the-apostles-1.1873591

Who was Mary Magdalene, ‘prostitute’, ‘sinner’, ‘apostle of the apostles’?
First to encounter the Risen Christ yet named ‘penitent’ until 1969
Tue, Jul 22, 2014

In a recent letter to The IrishTimes on the subject of mother-and-baby homes, Dr. Mary Mullaney wrote: “I visited the chapel [of Seán Ross Abbey] where the girls would have prayed daily. Over the altar is a stained-glass image of Mary Magdalene, the prostitute and sinner. But who was the real sinner?”

Indeed, who is the sinner? Today, July 22nd, is the feast day of Mary of Magdala, St Mary Magdalene. She is mentioned in all four canonical Gospels as discovering the empty tomb on her own or with other women disciples.

John’s Gospel also shows the Risen Christ sending Mary of Magdala to announce the good news of his resurrection to the other disciples (John 20: 10 to 18). Because of this, the early church called her “the apostle to the apostles”.

However, gradually and for a variety of reasons, the memory of Mary Magdalene changed in the western church, and became distorted from that of a faithful disciple and first witness of the resurrection to that of a repentant prostitute and public sinner.... MORE

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Response to Name removed (Reply #22)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 02:37 PM

23. You need to read a little more on the topic

No one knows where it 'originated' from, ---There were some cultures that would make a small cut on the clitoral hood to increase a woman's pleasure.

But by and large it is done to control a woman's sexuality. And it dose NOT predate Abrahamic religions, all which have very ancient roots.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #22)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 02:49 PM

24. No, it doesn't predate them, but then it was not part of Abrahamic practice.

FGM was first recorded by the Greeks as an Egyptian ritual by the second century B.C. Though the cultural reasons are unclear and still debated, all theories point to patriarchal control and fear of female sexuality as commonalities. As I speculated earlier, FGM does not appear to have arisen as part of some religious dogma but was adopted into and exploited by patriarchal religion, radical Islam in the sub-Sahara being the most obvious example.

It is not uncommon for local, cultural and indigenous rituals to be incorporated into the prevailing (dominant) religion of an area -- look how many Christian holidays and rituals have their roots (or are direct rip-offs, if you like) in paganism. Ergo, when Islam became the dominant religion in Sub-Saharan Africa the FGM culture was adopted into their religious practice whereas in the Middle East it was not, as the latter had no history of FGM to incorporate.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:22 AM

2. ^ THIS OP IS WHY I AM A FEMINIST ^

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Response to Name removed (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:34 AM

4. Bullshit. It has EVERYTHING to do with the patriarchy.

In cultures where FGM is practiced, mothers perform this horrific assault on their daughters because they know that no man will marry them without it. And if you cannot be married, you are useless.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:35 AM

5. (pssst...the troll will be gone soon...don't bother feeding it)

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:36 AM

6. Wonder whose sock it is?

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:37 AM

7. It's some twerp from Discussionist trying to disrupt - but not very good at it.

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:46 AM

9. Obvious troll is obvious, to use a tired meme.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #4)


Response to Name removed (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:56 AM

12. You're back already?

That was fast!

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:41 AM

8. K&R

An aside: We really need to stop using 'vagina' as a catchall term. It is only furthering ignorance.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 07:37 PM

25. Yeah, huh?

It's certainly not part of the vagina. Good catch.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 10:15 AM

13. Then there is the subtle affectations in the western world.

 

When I go into a Christian church (wedding or funeral) I immediately feel the sense of a loss of self as a woman. Their catechism is a psychological castration of your whole self.

It amazes me that any woman can go into a church, much less expose their daughters to it. If we can't overcome the bastardization here, how can we expect cultures who are much less empowered to stand up?

I say pass this one off to Christian woman of the western world, who are already seen and heard as nothing but children in the eyes of their church, and let them have a go. Maybe they'll catch on when the hits start landing on their own heads.

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Response to toby jo (Reply #13)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 11:02 AM

14. It amazes me that anyone can make this "subtle" comparison. n/t

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Response to toby jo (Reply #13)


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 11:06 AM

15. Thanks, ISIS, for justifying all of Fox New's paranoia

I'm sure American Muslims are real pleased as well.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 01:33 PM

20. Our dear friend "Message auto-removed" is very busy today in HoF.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #20)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 02:05 PM

21. I would think they'd get bored after a while

But apparently not. Stupid is as stupid does, as the saying goes.

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