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Sally Engle Merry explores the intersection of rights and culture. Using relevant examples and drawing on material from the subject, address the degree to which you believe culture creates a barrier to universal human rights - Essay Example

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This is because it divides a society along ethnic, or community lines thus making it difficult to universally ensure that human rights are followed as required (Goodale 2009, p.25). In most cases, such ethnic communities are…
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Sally Engle Merry explores the intersection of rights and culture. Using relevant examples and drawing on material from the subject, address the degree to which you believe culture creates a barrier to universal human rights
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Sally Engle Merry explores the intersection of rights and culture. Using relevant examples and drawing on material from the subject, address the degree to which you believe culture creates a barrier to universal human rights

Download file to see previous pages... This makes it both difficult and tricky to enforce universal human rights across all communities and ethnicities. A people’s culture forms the framework in which people’s beliefs and practices and rooted. It forms a unifying factor that binds members of a community together from childhood to adulthood. As such, this makes it difficult to breach cultural laws and practices to observe human rights (Goodale 2009, p.68).
Many communities resist human rights in order to defend cultural beliefs and practices. This is a common thing across nations and communities and continues to pose a great challenge to the universal execution of human rights (Goodale & Merry 2007, p.36). As an example, male heads in the Hong Kong territories resisted to give women the right to inherit and own land because it would be against their culture and would destroy their social fabric. Another example of resistance to universal human rights is exhibited in Pakistan where a young woman was gang-raped as authorized by a local tribal council (Merry 2003, p.57). Although this act is against human rights and was condemned by the media and women’s rights activists, it is part of Pakistan’s cultural practices and as such is respected by all citizens of that community.
Due to their strong belief in their culture, other communities feel that their cultural rights are being undermined by the introduction of human rights. Since communities have been practicing cultural practices since time immemorial, some community leaders feel that human rights are out to suppress and kill their culture. This poses challenges and causes several resistances in the execution of universal human rights. In an example, male community leaders in Luganville town in northern Vanuatu decided to form a movement and group called ‘Violence against men’ when women’s rights activists advocated for women’s rights in their community (Taylor 2008, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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