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Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1995. xi, 112 p. (World Bank Technical Paper No. 298; Africa Technical Department Series)A review of the literature indicates that the access of girls and women to education in sub-Saharan Africa is being hindered by socioeconomic and cultural factors, aspects of the school environment, and political and institutional forces. Among these factors are direct and opportunity costs, parental attitudes toward investments in female schooling, social class, child labor demands, an emphasis on the woman's roles as wife and mother, scheduling of initiation ceremonies, Islamic beliefs, teachers' negative attitudes about girls' learning potential, early pregnancy, sexual harassment, and the overall low status of women. Strategies with the potential to increase female participation in education include: more flexible and efficient use of teacher and school resources to increase supply; increases in the number of female teachers, especially in science and mathematics; improvements in teachers' gender-stereotyped attitudes; widened curriculum choices for girls; introduction of simple technological innovations that reduce the demand for child labor; increased coverage through initiatives with nongovernmental organizations, religious groups, and families; and review of fiscal and administrative policies that restrict female educational and employment opportunities. Given the complexities of issues related to female education, multiple simultaneous interventions on both the supply and demand sides may be required. Also needed are stronger linkages between research findings, policy formulation, and program design and implementation.
FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW. 1992 Feb 20; 29-30.AIDS and HIV infection are in the early stages in Indonesia. 21 AIDS cases have been reported, and 30 persons have tested HIV-seropositive. Given the relatively low number of cases, and the presumed slow spread of HIV in the population, the government may yet be able to react in timely fashion to thwart epidemic spread. A rigorous education campaign and early detection of infected individuals are elements central to such intervention. The World Health Organization set a 1992 budget of US$500,000 for AIDS efforts in Indonesia. Research is young, awareness is minimal, and the campaign has barely commenced. AIDS cases have emerged in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, and Denpasar. It is especially in cities that the government is concerned over checking the spread of AIDS. In these populations, many engage in extramarital sex, visible transvestite communities exist, and commercial sex districts thrive. Low condom use among sex workers, and relatively high rates of untreated STDs prevail in the general population. From March, blood donated in 15 cities, including these 4, will be compulsorily screened for HIV. Socially, moral and religious attitudes must be recognized and accommodated in mounting an effective AIDS prevention and education campaign in Indonesia. While religious sensibilities may be offended by the discussion of sex and sexual practices, such discussion is necessary and must be supported by the well-organized religious groups in this overwhelmingly Muslim country. Hopefully, Indonesia will bring to bear against AIDS the same cultural pragmatism exhibited to effect population control in the 1970s and 1980s.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH SERVICES. 1991; 21(3):505-10.This article asks the reader to carefully consider the personal implications of AIDS were either he or close friends and relatives afflicted with the syndrome. We are urged to acknowledge the limited capabilities of personal and social response to the epidemic, and recognize the associated degree of social inequity and knowledge deficiency which exists. Summaries of 3 articles are discussed as highly integrated in their common call for global solidarity in the fight against HIV infections and AIDS. Pros and cons of Cuba's evolving response to AIDS are considered, paying attention to the country's recent abandonment of health policy which isolated those infected with HIV, in favor of renewed social integration of these individuals. Brazil's inadequate, untimely, and erred response to AIDS is then strongly criticized in the 2nd article summary. Finally, the 3rd article by Dr. Jonathan Mann, former head of the World Health Organization's Global program on AIDS, on AIDS prevention in the 1990s is discussed. Covering behavioral change and the critical role of political factors in AIDS prevention, Mann asserts the need to apply current concepts and strategies, while developing new ones, and to reassess values and concepts guiding work in the field. AIDS and its associated crises threaten the survival of humanity. It is not just a disease to be solved by information, but is intimately linked to issues of sexuality, health, and human behavior which are in turn shaped by social, political, economic, and cultural factors. Strong, concerted political resolve is essential in developing, implementing, and sustaining an action agenda against AIDS set by people with AIDS and those at risk of infection. Vision, resources, and leadership are called for in this war closely linked to the struggle for worldwide social justice.
In: D'Souza AA, de Souza A, ed. Population growth and human development. New Delhi, India, Indian Social Institute, 1974. 27-31.The actions undertaken by UNFPA on population matters have been guided by 3 basic principles. 1st is the emphasis on the right of the individual to have access to knowledge and facilities on the basis of which he/she could decide freely on the family size and child spacing. 2ndly, population has always been viewed by the UN in the larger context of development. 3rdly, the responsibility for action on population questions is considered to be within the sovereign domain of national governments. The increasing involvement of national governments in population activities and the increasing role of the UN system in providing assistance for such programs led to the designation of World Population Year in 1974. The Year provides an opportunity for increasing the awareness and understanding of population questions among people around the world. Community groups have an important role to play in promoting awareness and understanding of the population question among people everywhere. The community accepts ideas more easily if they can be shown to have already acquired a degree of social acceptability. The population question touches the standards of moral and ethical behavior in a personal way. If it can be shown that the new patterns of family life are related in a significant way to well established norms of ethical behavior, it will be so much easier for individuals to follow new patterns of behavior. The role of education in promoting and deepening awareness of population issues should be included in the development of population information.
Report of the regional meeting on social and cultural factors affecting the acceptance, continuation and discontinuation of family planning practice.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1983. 32 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 56)The Regional Meeting on Social and Cultural Factors Affecting the Acceptance, Continuation and Discontinuation of Family Planning Practice was held at Pattya, Thailand from November 2 to 8, 1982. Objectives identified at the meeting were: 1) to review and exchange information among the countries of the region on the factors affecting the acceptance, continuation and discontinuation of family planning practice; 2) to recommend, on the basis of available experience in the region, strategies and experimental measures for overcoming the critical communication as well as other social and cultural barriers adversely affecting the practice of family planning; 3) to enhance regional cooperation in conducting further necessary research on the sociocultural factors affecting decision making on the use continuation of contraceptive methods by suggesting an appropriate conceptual framework and guidelines for a methodology in conducting such regional or subregional studies; 4) to suggest strategies for promoting improved evaluation and monitoring systems for family planning programs which take into account the extent and nature of the continuation and discontinuation of family planning practice. 8 countries participated: Bangladesh, India, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Recommended communication strategies to facilitate the continuation of family planning practice are: 1) improvement of the instructional or counseling activities by family planning personnel concerning technical information on contraceptive methods to counteract unfavorable rumors on contraceptive use. 2) Utilizing mass media and interpersonal channels to reinforce directly the continuance of family planning practice, as an alternative to simply promoting 1st acceptance. 3) Counteract unfavorable rumors related to contraceptive use by identifying influential persons at key locations in the communication networks of local communities and by having them serve as "trouble shooters" should unfavorable rumors arise. 4) Organize communication to increase the level of social support for acceptors of family planning. Design special communication strategies to increase acceptability of a small family norm, and to decrease fatalistic attitudes toward pregnancy and childbirth.