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Title:Are religious leaders a magic bullet for social/societal change? A critical look at anti-FGM interventions in Ethiopia
Authors:Østebø, Marit Tolo
Østebø, TerjeISNI
Year:2013
Periodical:Africa Today (ISSN 1527-1978)
Volume:60
Issue:3
Pages:83-101
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:female circumcision
religion
leadership
power
social change
Link:https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/v060/60.3.ostebo.pdf
Abstract:With a particular focus on interventions aimed at eradicating female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ethiopia, this article discusses the increased use of religious leaders as a strategy in development practice, showing that the use of religious leaders in these interventions is informed by an instrumental approach and narrow and static assumptions of power. The authors argue that for religious leaders to be actors of social change, a reconceptualization of power and power dynamics and a critical discussion about the consequences and limitations of instrumentalist approaches are needed. These issues are of particular importance in contexts where monological discourses and vertical structures dominate and influence interventions, local responses to them, and religious leaders' legitimacy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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