Not All African Women Want to be Saved: Examining Colonialism and Cultural Relativism in the Female Genital Cutting Discourse Using the Capabilities Approach
Chung, Stephanie R.
Washington and Lee University -- Capstone in Shepherd Poverty Program
Capabilities approach (Social sciences)
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Capstone; [FULL-TEXT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOLLOWING A 3-YEAR EMBARGO]Stephanie R. Chung is a member of the Class of 2018 of Washington and Lee University.In this paper, I use Sen and Nussbaum’s capabilities approach to examine the global female genital cutting debate. In doing so, I explore how and why African feminists protest the intrusion of Western feminism into this issue and the conflicting “facts” in this debate. I find that women who support FGC and those who oppose FGC are using the same capabilities to understand FGC but interpret these capabilities in different ways. Finally, I explore what this analysis can tell us about the dangers of universalizing Western philosophy to African contexts.Stephanie Chung