I have been following this discussion with great interest over the past weeks. All of the views expressed and/or comments made are most valuable and that they complete one another in an interesting way. All I can add is that human rights education is and should be seen as one of the most critical instruments to avoid the adversities of negative cultures that damage human well being and perpetuate social, economic, psychological and political exclusion. Education in general and human rights education in particular, should be designed or restructured therefore in a manner that it encompasses all knowledge and substantive and operational ammunition to fight against and challenge such cultural and tradition-based legitimization and human rights violations. Tradition based honour killings and female circumcision are simply perpetuations of feudal and tribal community norms and have normally no place in the formal and rational society. Yet, they continue and its victims are always the poor and the most vulnerable women and girls. Religious fundamentalism making its inroads at an unprecedented pace in many countries in the world since the last two decades are outright violations of basic human rights -- girls as against boys being prevented from having equal access to their most basic and the most critical "capability formation" right to education. Cultures are learned. They are not static entities of some sort. They change and should be changing especially when they begin to become oppressive. This change, as Patrick Karanja suggests, can only be meaningfully achieved through continuing cultural dialogues, sharing of experiences and through the evaluative processes which should be in place and fully functioning at all levels of the society, including the educational system, policymaking processes, government, public and private and civil society organizations. HRE practitioners and thinkers, more so than others, will need to maintain a holistic view on the impact of cultural processes and monitor the way in which they support and/or impede the formation of people's capabilities at both individual and collective societal levels. HRE, with this concern at its heart, can be more relevant in the framework of human rights and children's rights values and contribute better to the improvements in enlarging human rights. Seyhan Aydinligil METU, Sociology Ankara, Turkey ======== Global Human Rights Education listserv ======= Send mail intended for the list to < >. Archives of the list can be found at: http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-education/ **You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please retain the original and listserv source.
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