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  1. 1

    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.

    New Internationalist Publications

    [Unpublished] 1985. 19 p.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.
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  2. 2

    Concise report on the world population situation in 1983: conditions, trends, prospects, policies.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, United Nations, 1984. 108 p. (Population Studies, No. 85; ST/ESA/SER.A/85)

    The 3 parts of this report on world, regional, and international developments in the field of population, present a summary of levels, trends, and prospects in mortality, fertility, nuptiality, international migration, population growth, age structure, and urbanization; consider some important issues in the interrelationships between economic, social, and demographic variables, with special emphasis on the problems of food supply and employment; and deal with the policies and perceptions of governments on population matters. The 1st part of the report is based primarily on data compiled by the UN Population Division. The 2nd part is based on information provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), as well as that compiled by the Population Division. The final part is based on information in the policy data bank maintained by the Population Division, including responses to the UN Fourth Population Inquiry among Governments. In 1975-80 the expectation of life at birth for the world was estimated at 57.2 years for both sexes combined. The corresponding figure for the developed and developing regions was 71.9 and 54.7 years, respectively. In 1975-80 the birthrate of the world was estimated at 28.9/1000 population and the gross reproduction rate was 1.91. These figures reflect considerable decline from the levels attained 25 years earlier: a crude birthrate of 38/1000 population and a gross reproduction rate of 2.44. World population grew from 2504 million in 1950 to 4453 million in 1983. Of the additional 1949 million people, 1645 million, or 84%, accrued to the less developed countries. The impact of population growth on economic development and social progress is not well understood. The governments of some developing countries still officially welcome a rapid rate of population growth. Many other governments see cause for concern in the need for the large increases in social expenditure, particularly for health and education, that accompany a young and growing population. Planners are concerned that the rapidly growing supply of labor, compounded by a trend toward rapid urbanization, may exceed that which the job market is likely to absorb. In the developed regions the prospect of a declining, or an aging, population is also cause for apprehension. There is a dearth of knowledge as to the impact of policies for altering the consequences of these trends. Many policies have been tried, in both developed and developing countries, to influence population growth and distribution, but the consequences of such policies have been difficult to assess. Frequently this problem arises because their primary objectives are not demographic in character.
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