Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Tostan is an NGO that has worked in various African countries. It works to eradicate illiteracy, reduce poverty, and promote human rights. The aid organization is claiming that there is a link between human rights and national development. The group has found that once natives learn their rights, they begin to restructure their communities to better assert these rights. Tostan’s work has led many in Senegal to abandon the hotly debated practice of female circumcision. The group has educated both women and men about why the practice is a violation of human rights and natives who were once proponents of the practice now speak out against it. Does this show that we do not have to be culturally relative on this issue and other, similar issues as well? Or are were merely imposing our western values and brainwashing Africans when we help them learn “their rights” and they then demand that they are respected?