Feminism is a Movement of the Group of Women to End Sexism

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Introduction

Feminism is a movement of the group of women to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. Feminism has its theories such as Radical, Liberal, Marxism and African. These theories founded on three main principles. The following are the principles: Women have something valuable to contribute to every aspect of the world. As an oppressed group, women have been unable to achieve their potential, receive rewards, or gain full participation in society. Thirdly feminist research should do more than critique, but should work toward social transformation. Western feminists have struggled historically against certain paradigms of inferiority that all women experience. The female identity is different according to each culture and their customs, but many cultures are based on a patriarchal past where men wield more power than women. Women worldwide experience subjugation in the form of jobs, education, sexuality and reproductive choice. American women have strived to overcome these stereotypes and have gained a position of near equality in many societal constructs. In the United States today, men and women enjoy almost equal social standing. This paper will briefly explain about how western feminism under look African feminism. African feminism should not stereotype African women as ‘problems to be solved’, but should portray them as people who are capable of setting their own priorities and agenda. A distinctively African feminism will portray women as strong, innovative agents and decision-makers in their specific contexts. It should empower African women and work for them in ways that they want it to.

It has there been any consideration upon the comparisons and variances among women’s stresses in the west, the nature of which have been understood in some of the articles which have been spread, and the fights and burdens of women in Africa. The feminist program in the west has been accused of bias, that is to say that it has failed to recognize the different historical experience of African women compared to that of western feminism and has been destructive towards their cultural values and fights for freedom as black women.

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Perceptions of Western Feminism have to change completely, they should not look at African women as children, powerless and helpless. African women, like any other group, are able to articulate their needs, evaluate the alternative courses of action, and mobilize for collective action where necessary.

History & Overview of Feminism Issues

The United Nations has laid the foundation for an International women’s law of human rights that transcends the boarders of national, religious and customary laws. On the basis of pre-dominantly law non- discriminatory approach the education, work, political participation, credit facilities and to marry found a family and to divorce on equal basis with men, (Hellum , 1917:13). The overall aim of the Women’s Convention is to improve the position of women as group in the long term perspective. The Eurocentric character of the convention has been pointed out by number of African scholars within family and women’s laws. This is called Eurocentric convention because most of the policies which are made, are based on western culture which is contrary to African culture and that is why it does not empower African women and work for them in ways that they want it to culture and tradition. The Maputo Protocol categorically rejects harmful cultural traditions. At the same time, Article 17 of.129 the Protocol states, “Women shall have the right to live in a positive cultural context and to participate at all levels in the determination of cultural policies.

Why should questions about the West be brought in to discuss entangled clusters such as abortion, female genital mutilation, virginity, women rights, gender equality, the use of traditional medicine among women of Africa, equality distribution of resources, personal, problems that are so identifiably ‘ours’? Western feminism, seem to have missed its essential aspects, for instance they come to Africa and start criticizing what women in Africa are facing without considering their culture. As a result African culture is too tied up with its western origins, from where universal agendas emanate, but which are inapplicable elsewhere. Feminists in western countries suffer from being too western identified, when they should be more concerned with analyzing local women’s issues ‘on their own terms, (John.M:2)

Female genital mutilation also known as Female circumcision, the partial or total cutting away of the external female genitalia, has been practiced for centuries in parts of Africa, generally as one element of a rites of passage preparing young girls for womanhood and marriage. This is part of important culture in African countries like Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Guinea and others. Female genital mutilation some perceive it as religion obligation. One of the country which has large number of women who undertake female circumcision is Guinea. FGM is unlawful in Guinea under Article 265 of the Penal Code. The law sentences death to the perpetrator if the girl dies within 40 days after the FGM. Article 6 of the Guinean Constitution, which outlaws cruel and inhumane treatment, could be interpreted to include these practices, should a case be brought to the Supreme Court. Guinea contracted the Maputo Protocol in 2003 but has not indorsed it. Article 305 of Guinea’s penal code also embargoes FGM, but not one person has yet been punished under any of Guinea’s FGM-related laws. In Guinea, as a standby for stopping FGM, the leaning is near medicalization of FGM, where the mutilation is promoted under hygienic conditions by therapeutically trained staff, who see FGM exercise a supplementary source of income

Western feminism criticized that female genital mutilation is not only an extremely detrimental to women and girls’ health and well-being, it is also an atrocious act of violence. There is no possible justification for this practice no cultural, religious or medical reason whatsoever. Western feminists have opposed female circumcision because they say that the practice is harmful to women health and well-being. Some consider it as a ritualized form of child abuse and violence against women a violation of human rights.

Article 5 of CEDAW shapes that the public parties shall take all suitable actions to adjust the social and cultural designs of conduct of men and women with a view of accomplishing the removal of biases and habitual and all other performs. Women have right to partake in procreation activities and sports.

Traditional Medicine Practice in Contemporary in Africa. By disagreeing for the protection of traditional medical practices in Africa, this point offers pragmatic analysis based on original knowledge within the context of a local culture and environment. Considering the health services climate within Africa, there is a good reasons for necessitate of continuing presence of traditional healers in Africa. Citing a greater access to traditional healers in comparison to Western-trained medicinal physicians, this research proves the importance of healers by declaring that they are an integral part of the culture that a certain population of African people depend on more especially in rural areas. Also, the foreign practices of Western medicine are not widely recognized amid many members of communities due to some beliefs more specifically in terms of diseases caused by ancestral spirits. This brings advantage among the women by ensuring that the African women does not rely upon external medicine and services for health care only,(Ical, Est, & Hts, n.d.)

This has prompted western feminism to strongly argue with the belief that African medicine are not scientifically proven by scientists. They have come up with different arguments without understanding what it means when it comes to this issue of using some of these traditional medicine,(Ical et al., n.d.)

Polygamy in Africa

One example of a cultural practice that conflicts with progressive international norms is the observance of polygamy. Although it occurs throughout the world, African males, traditionalists in particular, maintain multiple partnerships, especially in areas with scarce environmental resources. Polygamy is believed to increase productivity and survival among children, to provide economic security to women, and to maintain strong religious values more especially in Islamic religion and in the churches of apostolic faith mission. Considering some of these reasons among African women the practice of polygamy is not a crime. Yet it also represents a highly contested debate between those who uphold the societal norms of traditional African communities, and feminists who call for implementing human rights norms among women though polygamy is legally recognized in some other parts of African countries for example Senegal in particular has the highest rate of polygamy,(Ical et al., n.d.)

Polygamy directly clashes with Western feminisms that consider bigamy a crime. Several countries have prohibited the polygamous lifestyles and some states condemn it through criminalization. Western feminism argue that polygamy creates societal problems responsible for the continuance of gender inequality, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, marital strife, family discord, and the transmission of AIDS. Numerous organizations, such as the Campaign Against Polygamy and Women Oppression International (CAPWOI) actively discourage polygamy through education, advocacy and support. To such advocates, polygamy represents a highly emotional issue that perpetuates the inferiority of women. Yet many African men maintain that multiple-partnership is “tradition,” suggesting deeply interwoven principles of power and priority that are not easily broken. Instead of condemning the practice, some African states have opted to provide legal protection to polygamous marriages by enforcing legal responsibilities that ensure the rights of women and children though western feminism discourages this practice. In Namibia, for example, the constitution holds men accountable for a multitude of legal obligations favoring proper treatment of family members. Though this answer does not destroy polygamy, many see it as a step in the way towards admitting, and perhaps one day changing, the deeply engrained traditional role polygamy indicates in many African societies.

Western feminism as well as African feminism should involve themselves in politics for this necessarily holds women’s continuing missions for enlightening equity, commercial prospect and public rights. It also embraces arguments over women’s entitlements to drive, to device their own bodies prominently and their fruitfulness, and even their assessments of destructive shapes of male sexual behavior (Offen, 2011). There is fairness in politics which includes civic conversation of shared difficulties, not just a soundless counting of specific pointers. And when people altercation together, the debate can occasionally tip the contributors to see their own pale in the wider interests of the communal, so it is good idea aimed at both women and men to partake in politics, (Mansbridge, 1990). Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also delivers for fairness before the law and equal defense of the law. Generally, women have been omitted from political life and decision making procedures. Women’s campaigns for contribution in the public and political arena date back to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and continue today. At the time of the First World War, few lawmaking republics accepted women’s right to vote,(Salaam, 1979).

Women’s Human Rights

The Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has clarified that, to accomplish genuine fairness, the fundamental reasons of women’s discrimination must be spoken; it is not adequate to promise matching treatment with men. In the Committee’s view, the Convention entails that women should be given an equivalent start and also that the Government must generate an empowering atmosphere for the authorization of women in order to succeed egalitarianism of conclusions. Finished distinct procedures, previous crimes and differences are modified by provisionally generous rewards to women, and generous them admission to prospects that usually have been out of their reach. Accomplishing practical fairness needs a modification in arrogances, in sexual category roles and typecasting; an important common change which enterprise principal to a transformation in women’s lived realities,(Salaam, 1979). The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women promises women equivalent rights in determining “easily and correctly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and incomes to allow them to exercise these rights” (article. 16). It also stipulates that women’s right to education includes “access to specific educational information to help to safeguard the health and happiness of families, including information and advice on family planning” (article. 10).

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Both western feminism and African feminism have to be considered in sexual and reproductive health and family planning issues. Reproductive health rights should be a freedom to tie on. Women should have a say when it comes to provision of health services. Women should be able to talk about Sexually Transmitted Infections without restrictions. Women’s childbearing role can also have an impact on their enjoyment of other rights such as the rights to education and to work. In the past, human rights had been conceptualized in a way that did not take account of women’s lives and the fact that women routinely faced violence, discrimination and oppression. Consequently, women’s experiences were until relatively recently not adequately addressed by the human rights framework. The work of activists, human rights mechanisms and States has been critical in ensuring that the human rights framework has grown and adjusted to encapsulate the gender-specific dimensions of human rights violations in order to better protect women(Salaam, 1979).

Culture and Tradition

These are common aspects in all aspect of societies whether in western countries and African countries. Though culture and tradition are interchangeably used because of their similar meanings, they have differences in them. In some societies these concepts are very empowering while in others they can be restrictive and exploitative. Culture is a set of behaviors and norms in a society. 

Notably, to ensure greater cooperation between Western and African feminists there is need to encourage to use online networks between women to draw people together hence bridging the divide into a mutual, virtual space as this can push global feminism as this can push for a global feminism whereby women will the same issue this can help to creating ways to support women’s group based on their actual needs and concerns without imposition and dominance from other groups.”

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Feminism Is a Movement of the Group of Women to End Sexism. (2021, May 24). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/feminism-is-a-movement-of-the-group-of-women-to-end-sexism/

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