Monday, September 21, 2009

Government Action on Genital Cutting

Immigration is probably one of the more contentious issues in United States politics, and so it is not surprising that it is a huge one in Sweden, a country that accepts one of the largest amounts of refugees and immigrants. Debates about letting fewer people in are constant, and the threat of an anti-immigrant party gaining power in parliament looms.

A country that has had a largely homogeneous society for centuries is now faced with fears of losing their culture and society. Decisions are made that are thought to be for the benefit of all of the society, but are viewed by some as being motivated by racism or attempts to force assimilation onto immigrants. One of these decisions regards a ban on female genital cutting.

In Sweden, Norway, and Denmark FGC is obviously illegal, but what is interesting is that people have also been prosecuted for procedures done abroad. That is, if you take your daughter back to somewhere in Africa and have the procedure done and then return to Scandinavia, you can be prosecuted. Interesting, right?

The laws are in place to prevent what is seen by many as a psychologically and physically harmful procedure from being done. Some wonder if it demonstrates cultural insensitivity on the part of lawmakers, or if it is the place of the government to try to stop the practice outside of the country. Thoughts? Is this something the state should be able to regulate? Or is the state trying too take too much control over people's private lives?
Photo courtesy of

1 comment:

WendyM said...

That is really interesting. What's the word from Sweden/how are people reacting to the law?