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Friday, September 10, 2010

Female Genital Mutilation Won't End Until Women Attain Equality Worldwide

September 10, 2010
Stephen C. Rose / Associated Content

FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan

A new report from Human Rights Watch says the local government isn't doing enough to stop this dangerous and debilitating practice. With HRW's Samer Muscati and a report from the ground."

Female genital mutilation is practiced in almost thirty nations around the world. To condemn the practice as a non-involved Westerner is to hit a brick wall.

I believe therefore that if we really want to mainline change we need to jump from individual issues to the biggest kahuna of all: The affirmation that each living person is entitled to the very same rights and privileges simply because she or he exists.

I believe all people have within them what Albert Schweitzer called the will to live.We are, Schweitzer said, life that wills to live amidst life that wills to live. We can take that a step further and say that each person has an inviolable spark which can have one thousand names but which amounts to the same thing -- an active spark of existence which acknowledges the spiritual membership of all persons in the same universal community.

We can add that this inner reality transcends and to some extent modifies or even eliminates the boundaries between us.

In a world where racism and nationalism and tribalism all seem to give the lie to this, where even religions balk at the notion that our common bond breaches individual religious creeds, this position finds few active takers.

But I believe many who have no real allegiance to any religion or even to their own culture or nation are yearning precisely for a way of living as full individuals in community with all people.

Now we have wandered far from female genital mutilation. That is partly because there are many resources that can illuminate this issue far more than I. And partly because I believe my point needs to be made with as much force as possible in all precincts where well-meaning efforts for change are underway.
Human Rights Watch: "Many women and girls in Iraq's Kurdish region are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).