Abstract

This article reviews campaigns against female genital cutting (FGC) directed at Maasai communities in northern Tanzania. The authors argue that campaigns against FGC using educational, health, legal, and human rights–based approaches are at times ineffective and counterproductive when they frame the practice as a “tradition” rooted in a “primitive” and unchanging culture. We suggest that development interventions that do not address local contexts of FGC, including the complex politics and history of interventions designed to eradicate it, can in fact reify and reinscribe the practice as central to Maasai cultural identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1555-2462
Print ISSN
0002-0206
Pages
pp. 47-71
Launched on MUSE
2009-04-30
Open Access
No
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