Cultural identity and equal citizenship


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Cultural Identity and Equal Citizenship
The Case of Women’s Human Rights

Masterclass at the conference Integrating Cities, Amsterdam, 8 March 2012

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  • .
  • In Europe: UnniWikan, NeclaKelek, Ayaan Hirsi Ali warnedthat immigrant minoritygroups have traditional practicesthat are harmfultowomen: honourkilling, forced marriage, FGC andclaimedthatgovernmentsshouldbe more proactive in combatingTHP’s.In Europe minority immigrant groupsusually are notgrantedgrouprights, the right to FGC, tohonourrelatedviolence, toforced marriage. Their (Wikan etc.) claim thereforenotagainstgrouprights, but governmentscondoning these practices, notintervening out of (in theireyes) misplaced respect for immigrant cultures.
  • Multicultural Citizenship A liberal theory of minority rights (OUP: 1995) Yes/no intervention warranted?
  • Example British campaign. Discussthis case?
  • ‘Samen tegen eerwraak en schoonheidsideaal’ Yogether against honour killing and the slenderness ideal. It was the name of an essay, jointly written by native Dutch Tine Jensen and CilayÖzdemir, who is of Turkish descent. It was published in May 2007 in the NRC, a national newspaper. They write: At first sight there seem to be differences concerning sexuality and autonomy. For the Muslima, the symbolic ‘undressing’, showing her sexuality more explicitly … can be a deed of emancipation, while the native Dutch woman wants to expose the pressure to make your body fit to beauty norms. The labia reconstruction, an extreme consequence of the Western beauty ideal, ironically meets the ‘ideal’ of her Islamic sister on the operation table, when she is undergoing a hymen reconstruction or a circumcision. Both are excesses of the same symbol, namely that women still try to meet standards of chastity, sexuality and beauty, forced on them by men. Basicidea: formulate issues thattransgressculturaldifferences, sothatwomenfrom different background canidentifywiththem. Otherexample: neighbourhood project womencametogether on common identity ‘mothers of large families’.
  • Cultural identity and equal citizenship

    1. 1. Masterclass at the conference Integrating Cities Amsterdam, 8 March 2012 Baukje Prins Sawitri Saharso
    2. 2. The claim: minorities have a right to maintain their culture minority cultures are not sufficiently protectedby ensuring the individual rights of theirmembers therefore minority cultures should also beprotected through special group rights orprivileges
    3. 3. Susan Moller Okin (US): If minorities win group rights, women lose out.Unni Wikan, Necla Kelek, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Europe): Governments should be proactive in combatting Traditional Harmful Practices (THPs).
    4. 4. If a (national) minority does not behave as a decent liberal group: Impose liberalism? No. Try persuasion first, offer incentives for liberal reforms If that does not work, intervene while considering: Severity of rights violation Consensus in community Exit options Historical agreements
    5. 5. 1. How to address gender inequalities withinimmigrant cultures, without adding to thefurther demonization of these cultures,or: how to avoid ethnocentrism ?2. How to act in the interest ofwomen, without ignoring their own voice,or: how to avoid paternalism ?
    6. 6. What policies did your city developto address Traditional Harmful Practices?
    7. 7.  Berlin postcard campaign against honour related violence
    8. 8. Good practicesProject It does not hurt to talk (2005)• Conversation groups : What does it mean to be a man?• Homeparties for victims of domestic violenceProject (2007)• Film & Workshop on honour crime for (future) professionals
    9. 9. Good practicesProject The table of one (2012):Kitchen table meetings with women from yourneighbourhood.Topic: what do I want with my life?Aim: activation of unemployed and/orpoorly educated women