Negro Women

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Journal Article Review
Women have always historically been viewed as the weaker and inferior sex. This often translates to the oppression of basic human rights and disabling women from actively engaging in politics and society when it comes to their bodies and choices. Amos Idowu’s article “Effects of forced genital cutting on human rights of women and female children: the Nigerian situation” (pages 111-122) from Law, Democracy & Development of Nigeria, Volume 12, Number 2, published in 2008, constructs various views of female genital mutilation (FGM). Primary and secondary sources are used to provide synopsis for those for the practice as well as those against it. Background information, historical, cultural, and social factors along with effects and international involvement round out the article.

Since more than half of the women in Nigeria, as well as other places in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, are effected by some form of genital cutting, as reported by the World Health Organization (Idowu 2008), it has risen to be a prominent issue among organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Religion maintains an integral role in the history of defending, as well as, abolishing FGM practices in Africa. As far back as the seventeenth century, Christian missionaries have sought to rid the Africans of the harmful practice. It has been argued that the missionaries were strictly trying to destroy local tradition (Idowu 2008) instead of trying to protect the rights of women and female children.

Idowu provides much information in regards to the physical pain and hardship that is inflicted by the FGM. I believe that the deep seeded desire to be accepted in one’s culture and community it is necessary to undergo unwanted procedures. Women are sometimes represented as having voluntarily chosen some form of the FGM practice, but this fundamentally violates their human rights as well as the criminal laws present in Nigeria....
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