A A
RSS

Tag Archive | "Culture"

Rights of Passage: Women Shaping the 21st Century

Thursday, July 1, 2004

In The Future of Women’s Rights: Global Visions & Strategies / Joanna Kerr, Ellen Sprenger, and Alison Symington (eds.) In the last quarter of the 20th century we witnessed a blossoming of women’s movements. Across the world women are now active in unprecedented numbers, conscious of the need to be involved in the decisions that affect their future. We must insist that the rights of women are rooted in history rather than culture. We must take a new look at the structure of human relations broadly defined, and achieve a balance between the sexes not only in the public arena but also at the level of family. We must change the systemic tendency of globalization by infusing it with feminist ideals. And women everywhere must help women everywhere to become leaders. Then as we negotiate our passage into the new century, our movements will be the force that shapes the future.

US, Women’s Rights Groups Work to Raise Status of Women in Iraq, Afghanistan

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

VOA News / Listen Do culture or religion explain why women have lesser status than men in many Muslim countries? Mahnaz Afkhami said she doesn’t think so. She adds that culture is not fixed and is always evolving.

Searching for the Sources of the Self

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

In The Scholar and Feminist Online The sudden loss of identity started me on a search for the sources of my "self". This journey was to take me to a deeper layer of feelings, thoughts, and experiences that I had not known before, and on which, now, I was to build a new identity.

Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women’s Human Rights in Muslim Societies

Monday, January 1, 2001

In Women, Gender, and Human Rights: A Global Perspective / Marjorie Agosín (ed.) In modern times, women have moved from the margins to the center of history playing increasingly important roles in families, communities, and states across the world. As women became increasingly aware and assertive, their demands for equality, participation, and access elicited reactions that range from curtailing their right to the privacy of their bodies and minds to policies that deny them experiences that are essential to their ability to compete in society. The infringement of women's rights is usually exercised in the name of tradition, religion, social cohesion, morality, or some complex of transcendent values. Always, it is justified in the name of culture.

At the Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity: Personal Reflection

Friday, November 3, 2000

In SAIS Review / The Johns Hopkins University Press Women in Muslim societies are not helpless. They have powerful potential. Because the problems of tradition and modernity are posed more vividly for them, they are at the forefront of the struggle to reconcile the universality of human rights with the specificity of religious and cultural contexts. They are the future of Muslim societies, if the future is to accord with democracy and civility. Because of the growing disparity between North and South in access to information, the most pivotal need at the moment is to provide women of the South with the necessary tools to participate in the global dialogue that increasingly affects decisions about economic transfers, grassroots developments, gender parity, and individual rights, among others.

Cultural Relativism and Women’s Human Rights

Saturday, January 1, 2000

In Women and International Human Rights Law / Kelly D. Askin and Dorean M. Koenig (eds.) It is naive to suppose that rights that are universally identified and defined, regardless of their intrinsic value, may be implemenated in defiance of values, rules, and customs that are locally prescribed in the name of culture. This problem, however, is a matter of practical exigency. The central problem of cultural relativism is that it must deny rights to women (or men) who have become aware that they posess rights because they possess an identity that is theirs independently of the community to which they belong.

Cultural Relativism

Saturday, January 1, 2000

“The central problem of cultural relativism is that it must deny rights to women (or men) who have become aware that they posess rights because they possess an identity that is theirs independently of the community to which they belong.” – Cultural Relativism And Women’s Human Rights

A Vision of Gender in Culture

Saturday, November 6, 1999

By Mahnaz Afkhami In Culture in Sustainable Development: Investing in Culture and Natural Endowments / Ismail Serageldin and Joan Martin-Brown (eds.) Some of us who have worked in the field of women’s rights know how difficult it is to get the idea across that the whole concept of development and progress hinges on culture change and that culture change involves a change in the relation of women to each other and to other members of society.

Identity and Culture: Women as Subjects and Agents of Cultural Change

Monday, January 1, 1996

In From Basic Needs to Basic Rights / The Institute for Women, Law, and Development The point of women’s struggle for rights is cultural change, that is, changing attitudes, behaviors, and laws that have a negative impact on women’s human rights. Such a struggle would be meaningless if women did not agree that there are rights beyond those prescribed by the traditional culture and that these rights are nevertheless valid everywhere.

About Mahnaz Afkhami

A lifetime advocate for the rights of women, Mahnaz Afkhami works with activists across the world, especially in Muslim majority societies, to help women become leaders. She is Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies...more

Quotables – Culture

"The infringement of women's rights is usually exercised in the name of tradition, religion, social cohesion, morality, or some complex of transcendent values. Anyway, it is justified in the name of culture." - Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women's Human Rights

"The central problem of cultural relativism is that it must deny rights to women (or men) who have become aware that they posess rights because they possess an identity that is theirs independently of the community to which they belong." - Cultural Relativism And Women's Human Rights

"We must pose the question: why is it that the denial of the most rudimentary rights to civil treatment for women is always based on some fundamental point of culture? Is this culture real, or is it a fetish that is used to maintain some economic, social, or simply psychological privilege?" - A Vision of Gender in Culture