The Feminist Challenge: Women and the Issue of Multiculturalism

Argues that the concept of multiculturalism should not accept discrimination and oppression within itself, focusing on the subject from a feminist viewpoint.

Acknowledging that there are a variety of legitimate positions on this issue, this essay will nonetheless argue – as per Will Kymlicka – that while multiculturalism is, by definition, inclusive, it cannot and must not accept discrimination and oppression within itself. Of course, it must be admitted that there is no society in the world that is free from discrimination. However, as will be demonstrated with particular reference to the rights of women, to accept any form of oppression within a multicultural society is to invite a fatal virus into the body politic. However, it will also be argued that this absolute response can only legitimately be maintained within the boundaries of Western societies. To extend this rule on a global level represents a form of cultural imperialism that may, in fact, do more harm than good.