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The state of the world's women 1985: World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women, Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi, Kenya, July 15-26, 1985.
[Unpublished] 1985. 19 p.This report, based on results of a questionnaire completed by 121 national governments as well as independent research by UN agencies, assesses the status of the world's women at the end of the UN Decade for Women in the areas of the family, agriculture, industrialization, health, education, and politics. Women are estimated to perform 2/3 of the world's work, receive 1/10 of its income and own less than 1/100 of its property. The findings revealed that women do almost all the world's domestic work, which combined with their additional work outside the home means that most women work a double day. Women grow about 1/2 the world's food but own very little land, have difficulty obtaining credit, and are overlooked by agricultural advisors and projects. Women constitute 1/3 of the world's official labor force but are concentrated in the lowest paid occupations and are more vulnerable to unemployment than men. Although there are signs that the wage gap is closing slightly, women still earn less than 3/4 of the wage of men doing similar work. Women provide more health care than do health services, and have been major beneficiaries of the global shift in priorities to primary health care. The average number of children desired by the world's women has dropped from 6 to 4 in 1 generation. Although a school enrollment boom is closing the gap between the sexes, women illiterates outnumber men by 3 to 2. 90% of countries now have organizations promoting the advancement of women, but women are still greatly underrepresented in national decision making because of their poorer educations, lack of confidence, and greater workload. The results repeatedly point to the major underlying cause of women's inequality: their domestic role of wife and mother, which consumes about 1/2 of their time and energy, is unpaid, and is undervalued. The emerging picture of the importance and magnitude of the roles women play in society has been reflected in growing concern for women among governments and the community at large, and is responsible for the positive achievements of the decade in better health care and more employment and educational opportunities. Equality for women will require that they have equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities in every area of life.
Socio-economic development and fertility decline in Costa Rica. Background paper prepared for the project on socio-economic development and fertility decline.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1985. 118 p. (ST/ESA/SER.R/55)This summary of information on the development process in Costa Rica and its relation to fertility from 1950-70 is a revision of a study prepared for the Workshop on Socioeconomic Development and Fertility Decline held in Costa Rica in April 1982 as part of a UN comparative study of 5 developing countries. The report contains chapters on background information on fertility and the family, historical facts, and political organization of Costa Rica; the development strategy and its consequences vis a vis the composition of the gross domestic product, balance of trade, investment trends, the structure of the labor force, educational levels, and income; the allocation of public resources in public employment, public investment, credit, public expenditures, and the impact of resource allocation policies; changes in land tenure patterns; cultural factors affecting fertility, including education, women and their family roles, behavior in the home, women and politics, work and social security, and race and religion; changes in demographic variables, including nuptiality patterns, marital fertility, and natural fertility and birth control; characteristics and determining factors of the decline in fertility, including levels and trends, decline by age group, decline in terms of birth order, differences among population groups, how fertility declined, and history and role of family planning programs; and a discussion of the modernization process in Costa Rica and the relationship between demographic and socioeconomic variables. Beginning with the 1948 civil war, Costa Rica underwent drastic changes which were still reflected in national life as late as 1970. The industrial sector and the government bureaucracy have become decisive forces in development and the government has become the major employer. The state plays a key role in economic life, and state participation is a determining factor in extending medical and educational resources in the social field. The economically active population declined from 64% in 1960 to 55% in 1975 due to urbanization and migration from rural to urban areas, but there was an increase in economic participation of women, especially in urban areas. Increased educational level of the population in general and women in particular created changes in traditional attitudes and behavior. Although there is no specific explanation of why Costa Rica's fertility decline occurred, some observations about its determining factors and mechanisms can be made: the considerable economic development of the 1950s and 1960s brought about a rapid rise in per capita income and changes in the structure of production as well as substantial social development, increased opportunities for self-improvement for some social groups, and a rise in expectations. The size of the family became an aspect of conflict between rising expectations and increasing expenses. The National Family Planning Program helped accelerate the fertility decline.
In: State of the world 1985. A Worldwatch Institute report on progress toward a sustainable society [by] Lester R. Brown, Edward C. Wolf, Linda Starke, William U. Chandler, Christopher Flavin, Sandra Postel, Cynthia Pollack. New York, New York, W.W. Norton, 1985. 200-21.The demographic contrasts of the 1980s are placing considerable stress on the international economic system and on national political structures. Runaway population growth is indirectly fueling the debt crisis by increasing the need for imported food and other basic commodities. Low fertility countries are food aid donors, and the higher fertility countries are the recipients. In most countries with high fertility, food production per person is either stagnant or declining. Population policy is becoming a priority of national governments and international development agencies. This discussion reviews what has happened since the UN's first World Population Conference in 1974 in Bucharest, fertility trends and projections, social influences on fertility, advances in contraceptive technology, and 2 major family planning gaps -- the gap between the demand for family planning services and their availability and the gap between the societal need to slow population growth quickly and the private interests of couples in doing so. The official purpose of the 1984 UN International Conference on Population convened in Mexico City, in which 149 countries participated, was to review the world population plan of action adopted at Bucharest. In Bucharest there had been a wide political schism between the representatives of industrial countries, who pushed for an increase in 3rd world family planning efforts, and those from developing countries, whose leaders argued that social and economic progress was the key to slowing population growth. In Mexico City this division had virtually disappeared. Many things had happened since Bucharest to foster the attitude change. The costly consequences of continuing rapid population growth that had seemed so theoretical in the 1974 debate were becoming increasingly real for many. World population in 1984 totaled 4.76 billion, an increase of some 81 million in 1 year. The population projections for the industrial countries and East Asia seem reasonable enough in terms of what local resource and life support systems can sustain, but those for much of the rest of the world do not. Most demographers are still projecting that world population will continue growing until it reaches some 10 billion, but that most of the 5.3 billion additional people will be concentrated in a few regions, principally the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. What demographers are projecting does not mesh with what ecologists or agronomists are reporting. In too many countries ecological deterioration is translating into economic decline which in turn leads to social disintegration. The social indicator that correlates most closely with declining fertility across the whole range of development is the education of women. Worldwide, sterilization protects more couples from unwanted pregnancy than any other practice. Oral contraceptives rank second. The rapid growth now confronting the world community argues for effective family planning programs.