Communicating against a Taboo Practice
This book examines female genital mutilation (FGM) §in Africa and the global movement committed to §eliminate the practice. The international §community, guided by concerned UN organizations and §large donor groups, defines FGM as a violation of §human rights and follows a uniform goal to §completely eliminate all forms of FGM. By §coordinating actions from the international to the §local level, any alternatives raised by cultural §relativists are strictly excluded. However, less §attention is focused on the effectiveness of §messages that are being introduced to FGM-practicing §communities. In particular, introducing the concept §of human rights has largely failed to succeed. The §author argues that the abstractness of the concept §needs to be tailored to the realities and §experiences of FGM-practicing communities. §Implementation of theories and strategies that take §a participatory approach are suggested in order to §facilitate community-based and community-led §solutions to FGM. Finally, the author suggests a §decentralized model of behavior communication that §permits greater flexibility of approaches to anti-§FGM communication.