Feminist Critique

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The journal “Cultural Relativist and Feminist Critiques of International Human Rights – Friends or Foes?” by Oonagh Reitman discuss the critiques of international human rights from cultural relativists and feminists. This journal divided into three main points, such as cultural relativism of Women’s Human Rights, Comparing the Cultural Relativist and Feminist Critiques of Human Rights, and Towards a Cooperative Approach.

II. SUMMARY This section contains a summary of “Cultural Relativist and Feminist Critiques of International Human Rights – Friends or Foes?”. Oonagh begins her journal by stating that her purpose in writing the journal is to describe how these two critiques have come to against each other in the world of women’s
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The author argues that the debate of cultural relativism towards women’s human rights raced from the fundamental arguments of women’s rights in order to control their bodies, free from the constraints of others, whether they are the community or family members. “The reservations were predominantly motivated by religious objections (based in Islam and Catholicism) to abortion and family planning services.“ In my opinion, Oonagh’s argument is not that strong, it is not completely right and not completely wrong also. Her argument is not fully acceptable towards the society. Why?
First, there is a country that against the argument of Oonagh regarding to abortion. In other words, this country is violating the women’s human rights. In fact, the law of New Zealand says it is legal to do abortion if there are two doctors that agree if continuing the pregnancy could lead to serious danger to mental or physical health of woman . There are laws that regulate abortion in New Zealand. In 1977, the Contraception, Sterilization, and Abortion Act (CS&A) formed Abortion Supervisory Committee. There are 2 occupations that this Committee must do, such as sets up and maintains the list of certifying consultants who decide whether a woman meets the lawful ground for an abortion under the Crimes Act 1961 and also oversees the quality of services and where they are available
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In other words, these religions are supporting the women’s human right; they strictly believe in their cultural relativism. Muslims believe that abortion is a wrong and haram activity. According to Islamic Law, all life matters; “Killing an innocent human even in its early stages as in abortion is like killing the whole of mankind, and to save a single human even in its fetus or embryonic stage is like saving the life of the whole of mankind. Killing an innocent human is considered to be one of the mortal sins.” It is also supported by the statement in Jack Donnelly’s book, “In Islam, in the realm of “human rights”, what matters is duty rather than rights, and the rights that one does hold are a consequence of one’s status or actions, not the moral fact of being human.” Thus, Muslims’ duty is to follow and put their law first, Muslims are consider abortion as a mortal sin. If we talk about cultural relativism, there is no right or wrong over each culture or ethnic group. The one that can evaluate whether it is wrong or right is the values and norms of its culture or ethnic group. Therefore, there is no right or wrong regarding to abortion, but Islam’s sees it as a violation of women’s human rights and a mortal

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