In the rights of Afghan women according
In the article “The Case for Contamination”Many people who advocate for the preservation of cultures are establishing adisservice to the progress of women’s rights. Kwame analyzes the many ways howthe world is becoming more and more globalized. “Contamination” is his definitionis all of the new innovative values and traditions that’re destroying what ourancestors left behind traditionally. While this may seem like a humane positionon the importance of cultural diversity it is, in fact, an endangeringviewpoint to the push for women’s rights. This is discussed extensively inKwame Appiah’s “The Case for Contamination”.
Init, the topic of women’s rights as a global responsibility (which is alsoviewed as ‘cultural imperialism’ imposed by highly developed countries) isquestioned as to whether this perception is endangering the cultural norms andtraditions of countries around the world. Appiah talks broadly on the subjectof globalization on how many traditions and customs are being threatened by theemergence of dominating cultures from more developed countries. She uses theexample of how baseball caps, radio programs that talk about western figuresand brands like Coca-Cola are entering foreign lands and are having an impacton citizens.
“Theyhave no real choice,” cultural preservationists say. “We’ve dumpedcheap Western clothes into their markets, and they can no longer afford thesilk that they used to wear (traditionally)”. But the bigger issue remains onhow these so called “Western values” are affecting key areas that do not complyin the way in which men and women behave, such as in the US. Islamic culture inAfghanistan, for example, restricts women from a lot of things including goingout in public without their husbands, or without wearing their burqas to covertheir faces. These “culturally diverse” norms which cultural preservationistsfeel the need to defend are damaging to the rights of Afghan women according toKwame. TheUnited States and NATO have assisted in gradually transitioning the perceptionof equality among the region in order to empower women within their country.Some would see this as a state sovereignty or aggressive behavioer in its demands for a country like Afghanistanto forsake its identity. But Appiah didn’t see it that way, he replies thatcountries do not and should not have to surrender their cultural diversity inorder to do what is proper in the sense of human rights for women.
Itmay be considered for some to be ‘cultural imperialism’ simply based on thenotion that these campaigns for women’s rights are being championed by Westernpowers like the US and Europe. However, I think that we can support culturalchanges in the benefit of progressive human rights without the need tosacrifice cultural identity and diversity. With the ever expanding spread ofideas and information with tools like the Internet, many cultural practicesthat are harmful or prohibit freedoms and rights will eventually become obsolete. Itis one thing to preserve culture as in history, arts, and identity; it isanother to preserve cultures as in outdated, stagnant, and wrongful traditions,especially those that limit women’s rights in my opinion.