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The impact of multiculturalism on women

There a wide range of books, articles, educational and non educational papers have been written concerning Multiculturalism and its impact on Western and non-Western societies, spiritual or cultural organizations. The purpose of this critical review is to look at, give description, evaluating and contrasting, executing analysis and analysis of two different articles that discuses the same theme of Multiculturalism. Both articles are written by feminist's authors who argue the problems associated with gender and especially women.

Description of two articles

Article 1:

This article is written by Susan Moller Okin a feminist copy writer who argues that coverage producers, defenders and advocates of multiculturalism in liberal and democratic countries, havent shown justice and fairness as it pertains to the problem of gender especially women. She also argues about the problems of immigrants and boosts the question that's the reason the immigrants, minority categories and indigenous people failed to be part of the majority civilizations in European Countries. Women were the most groupings who thought that they were manipulated by men in many areas of life; therefore, the assimilation of women in Western cultures caused huge controversy in neuro-scientific multiculturalism.

Article 2:

This article is compiled by Mandy McKerl, another feminist copy writer who argues that girls who come from different background, ethnicities, minority organizations and reside in multiculturalism societies, absence self-esteem and self applied respect because of the pressure from the their own ethnicities and their own neighborhoods. She presents her arguments based on the status of the women in modern-day societies in which they come across discrimination, prejudice, sexism, injustice and lack of opportunities. She also criticizes multiculturalism in American liberal democracy societies in which freedom, cultural justice, communal equality and politics representation are terms made by certain establishment to provide only the male prominent and ignore women rights, freedom, and interpersonal justice. Again the emphases here are on women who participate in cultural minorities and Muslim ladies in particular.

Comparison of both articles

Similarities: The name of both articles signifies that we now have similarities in the arguments specifically from feminist point of views. Both freelance writers illustrate the depth of the problem that ladies are put through problem of inequality and public justice in multiculturalism societies and liberal democratic state governments. They criticize the policy makers and the federal government institution in failing to address the problem related to gender especially women and to recognize that there surely is a gap using laws which still left women to be vulnerable to gender abuse, clitoridectomy, rape, polygamy, domestic assault, and killings. Furthermore, they present similar instances and illustrations from within American multicultural societies where women and girls from different ethnic qualifications have been subjected to force relationships, children marriages, threat, and occasionally kidnapping. Matching to both authors, this unjustified behavior led to create negative effect on women and ladies, and it also has created fierce tensions between your feminist ideologies and defender of multiculturalism in Traditional western states.

Points of dissimilarities and contrast:

The author of article 1 reveals her arguments pertaining to multiculturalism in a broader picture, although her main argument deals with problem of women rights that has been violated and ignored. As opposed to article 2, the writer expands her quarrels and partcipates in more details to recognize the primary of the challenge that is covered behind the cover up of multiculturalism. Article 1, almost never diffuses dialogue on cultural categories and its role in multiculturalism societies. In contrast to article 2, where the discussion is more energetic to explore with the audience that cultural communities has the top hand in managing the lives and freedom of women. You will discover other views and remarks regarding the issue of multiculturalism by anthropologist in article 2, that could not be found in article 1.

Analysis and evaluation:

As the subject of both articles suggest "Is Multiculturalism Harmful to Women"? Arguably this is the key concern in both of the readings. The authors aren't seeking a Yes or No answer here, but to demonstrate affirmation if the modern culture acknowledge and have confidence in the rights of women or have confidence in multiculturalism and ignore the privileges of women. The other concern that the articles wished to concentrate on is the fact in American countries, immigrants, Muslim women have been deprived using their company essence legal protections and also have been looked at as third-class citizens.

Both authors claim that due to dogma of multiculturalism, women from ethnic background and various cultures face assault, sexism, polygamy, and violation of individuals rights. Matching to Wihtol de Wenden, "the French respond to such practice as polygamy, excision, and headscarves has often used the form of the imposition of unsuitable sanctions". She shows that "such sanctions, definately not aiding migrant women, have a tendency to isolate them further into a traditional world that deprives them from similar rights and similar opportunity". (Wihtol de Wenden, 1998, p. 140). You can argue that some Western countries believe each one of these immigrants and women treasure a unitary homogenous culture; therefore, each of them should abide by it, missing the actual fact that misunderstanding in homogenous culture, has resulted in permitting most men to use the name culture because of their own advantages by conquering, torturing, and disrespecting women and females.

Arguably, both writers are speaking about the same problem regarding the issues of multiculturalism, women, social groups, human privileges, and policy makers in same directions, but apply different techniques. For instance, article 1 claims that some group privileges can, in truth, endanger and humiliate women. She illustrates her claim by giving an example of French government's allowing few thousands of male immigrants from African colonized countries special agreement to bring multiple wives in to the country.

Ironically, the French laws and regulations do not permit polygamy and the wives' own severe rejection to the practice of polygamy, did not stop these men to marry multiple wives'. (Okin, 1999, p. 10). Okin firmly emphasizes that girls should not be regarded as disadvantaged because of their sex and should not be treated as sex object to pleasure men. Volpp claims that "the assumption that ladies are by meaning more oppressed in minority civilizations can be tracked to several theoretical platform: the history of colonialism, depictions of the feminist subject, the limits of liberalism, and the utilization of binary logic". (Volpp, 2001, p. 1195). If this is actually the case, than European countries should reject group privileges that allow the practice of polygamy on the foundation they are essential to minority ethnicities whose presence may often be threatened. (Okin, 1999, p. 11).

Similar arguments are available in article 2, in which Makerl highlights the problem of minority groupings and their cultural rights of procedures. She displays and evaluation the debate which is presented in article 1 from historical and politics background and this method is important in bringing up the issue of multiculturalism and gender. She also illustrates ideas of multiculturalism from various thinkers, philosophers, and authors and relatively weights them to separate facts from fiction. (Mckerl, 2007, p. 192).

There is a sense of creating a notion of balance between feminism ideology and the defender of multiculturalism and in doing this; she is building a web link of mutual argument to features and bring the issue of women that has been dismissed for sometimes to the top. In contrast to article 1, these kind of analytical strategies and sources to other creators aren't present making her arguments less dynamic.

The issues of women and multiculturalism have been dealt with by other writers such as, Johann Hari, Judit Hell, Himani Bannerji, and Sarah Tune. The article entitled "How multiculturalism is betraying women" by Johann Hari can be seen as a direct criticism of multiculturalism in liberal and Traditional western societies. She shows her arguments by presenting several instances of Muslim women who were subjected to violence, rape, discrimination, and have been treated as third-class people. (Hari, 2007). She writes in various style and more critical of sociable justice and inequality of man rights especially relating to women. Although, her writing might not exactly be looked at as an academic good article, but she engages extremely well in raising the issues of women especially in courts room. Probably, there is a sense of resemblance in arguments between this work and the prior two articles despite the differences in methods.

Another example of resemblances in quarrels are available in the statement of Judit Hell "Women's Issue and Multiculturalism" where the copy writer present her arguments about multiculturalism from feminist point of view to emphasis that there are many issues regarding women and young ladies needed to be addressed in both open public and private sphere. (Hell, n. d. ). Judit, like Okin concentrate in her conversation on the historical record to multiculturalism and elaborates on the gender concern, but this time on gender of male that use culture as a justification to establish regulators upon women and subordinate them.

In this esteem, judit argues that multicultural societies are divided into two categories of societies, traditional societies and modern societies. She suggests that in Christian European countries the original societies were patriarchal by nature and male were the dominating figures, which means status of women was described. The other ethnic communities organizations, such as Jews, Gypsies and Muslims who attained later stage and settled in Christian Europe, once again male were the dominant characters in these groupings. Looking at the patriarchal status in traditional societies to modern societies, the treatment of women by these dominant male from these ethnic groups were severe and primitive. (Hell, n. d. ).

Himani in her article "A Question of Silence: Reflection on Violence Against Women in Communities of colour" increases issues regarding multiculturalism and women, but her style in this specific essay is completely not the same as Okin and Mckerl. She reveals her writing in a kind of a letter that is written to a friend in free verse style. She claims "Breaking with scholarly protocols, I am writing this part as a notice for you because what I want to say needs an embodied reader". ( Bannerji, 2000, p. 151). This piece of writing is focused on friends and in it the writer opens up her discourse addressing the violation of women protection under the law with especial personal references to cultural minorities' women in Canada. The piece is well organised and filled with technological words, but easy to follow its main discussion.

Sarah Tune, is another feminist educational writer who illustrates issues of multiculturalism and ladies in America. In her arguments, she presents circumstance studies of several women from Hong Kong, China, India, and America who have been kidnapped and raped by men. She states that "not so long ago in the United States, unless there was obvious proof coercion, an American woman charging rape were required to convince the courtroom that she possessed resisted the defendant's advances "to the utmost". (Melody, 2007, p. 93). Because of the nature of the circumstances that she has presented, her design of writing is very descriptive and critical. Tradition and culture are the key themes that run throughout her quarrels and seemingly it is critical rather than natural.

In general, these articles are written from feminist point of views and highlighted issues related to multiculturalism and the status of ladies in the multicultural societies. The presentations of some arguments are convincing and straight to the stage where communal injustice and inequality of women were tackled throughout the articles. Article 2 in particular is more engaging and interesting because it involves depth quarrels and entails the reader to make a decision for him/herself either to acknowledge or disagree with the discourse that is provided. It really is an intellectual article which contest political, religious, social, and gender issues that evolve all around us to understand the core of the issues that people are facing in this multicultural societies.


Feminist writers have presented theories and ideologies of multiculturalism in several perspectives and argued that culture, custom, faith, and politics play an important role in shaping and managing women.

The interpretation of multiculturalism alone could be ambiguous and cultural differences in some elements of liberal societies are governed by dominant male which will not help in empowering women.

The articles offered views and challenged the defender and agents of multiculturalism through delivering cases of mistreatment, sexism, discrimination, sociable injustice and challenged the policy makers that certain regulations are bias and prejudice towards women.

Each article has its unique way however you like and arguments despite the distinctions and similarities that embedded throughout the discourse. Each article got delivered the necessary meaning profoundly.

The question and the strain between feminism and multiculturalism followers has created a balance of understanding the other person views somewhat although the section in arguments will continue in a long time.


Bannerji, H. (2000). The Deep Area of the Nation- Essays on Multiculturalism, Nationalism and Gender. Canadian Scholars' Press Inc. Toronto, Ontario.

Hari, J. (2007). How Multiculturalism is betraying Women [online] The Individual News Paper. Available from: http://www. independent. co. uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-how-multiculturalism-is-betraying-women-446806. html

Accessed: 4th November 2010.

Hell, J. No night out. Women's Issue and Multiculturalism. [online]. Available from: http://www. bu. edu/wcp/papers/Gend/GendHell. htm

Accessed: 1st November 2010.

McKerl, M. (2007) 'Multiculturalism, Gender and Violence: is multiculturalism harmful to women?', in Culture and Faith, Vol. 8, No. 2

Okin, S. M. (1999) 'Is Multiculturalism Harmful to Women?', in Cohen, J. and Howard, M. (eds) ' Is Multiculturalism HARMFUL TO Women'? Princeton School Press, USA.

Song, S. (2007) Justice, Gender, plus the Politics of Multiculturalism. Cambridge University Press, USA.

Volpp, L. (2001). Feminism versus Multiculturalism. In JSTOR accessed online at http://www. jstor. org/stable/1123774

Accessed: 1st November 2010.

Wenden, C. W. (1998). Young Muslim Women in France: Cultural and Psychological Adjustments. In JSTOR utilized online at http://www. jstor. org/stable/3792118

Accessed: 1st November 2010.

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