Egyptian Activism against Female Genital Cutting as Catachrestic Claiming
An Van Raemdonck
Ghent University, BE
http://cici.ugent.be/en/researchers/AnvR An Van Raemdonck is Phd candidate, fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-aspirant), connected with the Centre for Intercultural Communication and Interaction (CICI) and based in the Department of Languages and Cultures of Ghent University, Belgium. Her research investigates the practice of female genital cutting in Egypt from a critical feminist postcolonial perspective with a particular focus on feminist activism, the potential and limits of transnational feminism and religious identity.
This paper deals with questions of the politics of location in knowledge and norm production within the context of Egyptian feminist activism for abandoning female genital cutting practices. It seeks to determine underlying schemes of international campaigning discourse and analyzes how these predicate and complicate Egyptian postcolonial activism. It draws on a broad literature study in addition to fieldwork in Cairo consisting of in-depth interviews with activists and policy makers. My focus is on the national Task Force against FGM from 1994 until 1999 and its subsequent cooptation by the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood. I argue through the concept of catachresis that location matters in setting the terms of anti-FGC discourse and its relation to religion.