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New York, New York, UNICEF, 2005 Nov.  p.FGM/C is a fundamental violation of human rights. In the absence of any perceived medical necessity, it subjects girls and women to health risks and has life-threatening consequences. Among those rights violated are the right to the highest attainable standard of health and to bodily integrity. Furthermore, it could be argued that girls (under 18) cannot be said to give informed consent to such a potentially damaging practice as FGM/C. FGM/C is, further, an extreme example of discrimination based on sex. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women defines discrimination as "any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field." Used as a way to control women's sexuality, FGM/C is a main manifestation of gender inequality and discrimination "related to the historical suppression and subjugation of women," denying girls and women the full enjoyment of their rights and liberties. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 1991. Presented at the Demographic and Health Surveys World Conference, Washington, D.C., August 5-7, 1991. 32 p.Brazil's National Survey of Maternal-Child Health and Family Planning, conducted in 1986 as part of the international program of Demographic and Health Surveys, consolidated and extended the findings of 9 previous state-level surveys. This work outlines the impact of survey data on Brazil's private sector family planning organizations, donor agencies, the press and opinion leaders, and the federal government and legislators. The finding of the survey that the rate of contraceptive usage among women aged 15-44 married or in union was much higher than expected at 65.4%, initially suggested that the family planning organizations and donors had completed their tasks, but more careful scrutiny pointed up serious problems. Family planning problems identified in the survey included low levels of knowledge and use of contraception in the impoverished northeast and among groups with low levels of income and education; a very high proportion of users (80%) of just 2 methods, oral contraceptives (OCs) and female sterilization; low rates of use of other effective and reversible methods; a large number of unnecessary caesareans performed only to give the woman access to sterilization services, with fully 72% of sterilized women undergoing the procedure during a cesarean delivery; low average age (31.4 years) of sterilization acceptors and low parity of a substantial proportion; use of pharmacies to obtain supplies by over 93% of OC users and OC use at inappropriate ages; low male participation in family planning; and lack of family planning services for adolescents. The survey demonstrated the reality of family planning in Brazil and prompted a rethinking of the aims and goals of family planning programs. Many aspects of maternal-child health and sexual and reproductive health in addition to provision of contraceptives should be included in a high quality family planning program. The survey findings did not completely resolve all the polemics and controversies that have beset the family planning program in Brazil, but they helped dispel some charges against the program. For the most part, only the most strongly ideological opponents have remained unmoved.