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POPULI. 1992 Oct; 19(4):10-1.The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development welcomed world leaders in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. At a parallel Global Forum 39 treaties on the environment, development and population were also drafted by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). These were considered more significant than the officially adopted Earth Charter, a statement of principle, and Agenda 21, a plan for sustainable development. The NGO treaties are action plans hammered out by more than 3000 people over 15 days of negotiation aimed at building alliances between diverse organizations from all over the world. Many groups condemned overpopulation scare tactics claiming that unfair trading practices and international debt force many Southern governments to exploit their environments to make debt payments. Most NGO participants concurred that population growth declines when women have free access to community-based family planning. The NGO Treaty on Population, Environment, and Development supports womens reproductive rights, free choice, and access to fertility planning. It rejects forced methods of limiting family size and contraceptive experimentation. It condemns militarism, debt, unequal trade, and structural adjustment policies. It calls for consumption and production changes to keep the most privileged 1/4 of humanity from consuming more than 70% of global natural resources with the attendant environmental degradation. It endorses women centered managed, and controlled reproductive health care with contraception, abortion, sex education, and male education programs. Other goals include accountability in contraception and genetic engineering, provision of child care facilities, and community-based responses to the AIDS epidemic and to other sexually transmitted diseases. The NGO Commitment to Biotechnology contains recommendations applicable to some of the new reproductive technologies.
Development. 1989; (4):77-82.Contemporary multilateral loan agreements to developing nations, unlike previous project and program aid, have often been contingent upon the effective implementation of structural adjustment programs of market liberalization and macroeconomic policy redirection. These programs herald such reform as necessary steps on the road to economic growth and development. Price decontrol and policy change may also, however, generate the more immediate and undesirable effects of exacerbated urban sector bias and plummeting income and quality of life in the general population. This paper considers the resultant changes expected in the political arena, product and input pricing, small business promotion and formation, export crop production, interest rate policy reform and financial market deregulation, exchange rate and public sector expenditure, and the labor market, and their effect upon women's economic position. The author notes, however, that women are not affected uniformly by these changes and sectoral disruptions, but that some women will suffer more than others. To develop policy to effectively meet the needs of these target groups, more subpopulation specificity is required. Approaches useful in identifying vulnerable women in particular societies are explored. Once identified, these women, especially those who head poor households, should be afforded protection against the turbulence and short- to medium-term economic decline associated with adjustment.
London, England, IPPF, 1989. 33 p.In 1952 in Bombay, India, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) was founded at a conference with delegates from 8 nations. By the end of 1988, 104 members and 2 affiliations made up IPPF and it was providing family planning assistance to >130 countries. Data has confirmed that child spacing, be it through modern contraceptive practices or traditional means, improves the health of both mother and child. These data support what IPPF and the family planning movement have been advocating for decades. To further promote better health through family planning, IPPF has renewed its commitment to work together with its donors, among its members, and other agencies. For example, in 1988, the Kenyan Family Planning Association (KFPA) helped support a soil protection project of a local women's group. The KFPA offered the women family planning services and operated an immunization program. In September 1988, staff and volunteers determined what programs were needed to reach IPPF's goal: 450 million couples worldwide will be using modern contraception by 2000. They also outlined 3 basic principles for IPPF's work: the individual and couple's right to control their own fertility; the opportunity to plan a family contributes greatly to mental and physical health; and the need to maintain a balance between natural resources and population. Also this group identified Africa as the region in most need of IPPF family planning assistance. In Africa, youth projects highlighting adolescent pregnancy and AIDS education have been targeted. During 1988-1989, IPPF continued active support for the remaining regions. As of 1988-1989, USAID had not renewed the financial support it withdrew in 1985. In April 1989, Dr. Halfdan Mahler, who was the Director-General of WHO for 15 years, replaced Mr. Bradman Weerakon as IPPF's Secretary-General.
[New York, United Nations, 1986.] 27 p.The ongoing crisis confronting women and children in the Third World--where disease and hunger are taking millions of lives of young children every year and where population growth still proceeds at an unacceptably high rate--is actually worsening in some areas. The European Parliamentarians' Forum on Child Survival, Women, and Population: Integrated Strategies was held under the auspices of The Netherlands government and organized in cooperation with 3 UN organizations: the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the UN Fund for Population Activities. It is critical that the world regain the momentum of past decades in reducing appalling child mortality rates, improving the health and status of women, and slowing population growth. Development programs from health education to agriculture are hampered or crippled by the inability of development planners to recognize the centrality of the woman's role. Maternal and child health is the logical entry point for primary health care. Education is the springboard for rescuing women in the Third World from poverty, illness,endless childbearing, and lowly social status. One should educate women to save children. Women in the developing world must be given access to basic information to be able to take advantage of new, improved or rediscovered technologies such as 1) oral rehydration therapy, 2) vaccines, 3) growth monitoring through frequent charting to detect early signs of malnutrition, 4) breast feeding, and 5) birth spacing. Education is the single most documented factor affecting birth rate, status of women, and infant and child health. The presentations at The Hague threw into sharp relief the close links, the cause and effect chains, and the synergisms associated with all the factors connected, directly or indirectly, with child survival, women's status, and population--factors such as education, economic opportunities, and overall development questions. A 4-point agenda includes 1) encouraging UN agencies and organizations concerned with social development to work closely together and to enhance the effectiveness of their programs, 2) seeking greater support for the UN's social development programs, 3) focusing public attention on the interrelatedness of health, maternal and child survival and care, women's status, and freedom of choice in family matters, and 4) maintaining and strengthening commitment through the dialogue of parliamentarians.
New York, New York, United Nations, Department of International Economic and Social Affairs [DIESA], Development Fund for Women, 1985. 195 p. (United Nations Publication ST/ESA/159)This report covers the activities of the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade for Women--currently called the United Nations Development Fund for Women--during the period 1978-1983. The objectives of the projects included regional and national strategies for the promotion of development in developing countries. They dealt with poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, self-reliance, health and nutrition; they promoted employment and self-sufficiency and created import-substitution products; they included agricultural production, human resource development through education and training, and institution-building. The assessment affirmed that women do participate in the development process but that they participate under unequal conditions. The findings of the assessment were also in agreement with the view of the General Assembly that changes in the family division of labor are needed in order to secure the participation of women on more equitable terms. Another lesson drawn from the projects that provides guidance for future activities is that projects should preferably be multi-faceted, encompassing human development needs as well as technical subjects. The cultural and political environments in which projects were implemented and the traditions of societies, when properly taken into account, contributed to the positive impact of projects. An obstacle faced in project implementation in several countries was the outdated and thus inadequate preparation of extension workers to cope with the multi-faceted work of women. Institutions were critical elements of project viability. The existence of local and national women's organizations and agencies proved to be a necessary condition for project effectiveness. The Fund reached policy levels from several directions. Although the effectiveness of these approaches varies both by country and by region, an interim judgment is that effective field projects may be the best approach.
Report on the evaluation of various family life education projects with particular emphasis on youth in the English-speaking Caribbean: country reports.
New York, New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA], 1984 Nov. xiv, 89 p.UNFPA has provided funding for various family life education (FLE) projects with particular emphasis on youth in the English-speaking Caribbean since the mid-1970s; this report is an independent evaluation of the projects in Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and St. Christopher and Nevis. Although birth rates are relatively low in the English-speaking Caribbean, the incidence of adolescent pregnancy and the number of births to women under the age of 20 is an important problem in the region. The Mission concluded overall that the projects have contributed to pioneering and groundbreaking efforts demonstrating that it is possible to initiate and make considerable progress in the implementation of FLE/FP programs for adolescents even when adolescent pregnancy and births are still highly sensitive and controversial issues and when there are no official policies in favor of such programs. The Mission concluded also that project design had improved over the years and projects have moved from addressing a wide variety of broad issues to a more focused consideration of adolescent fertility. All the projects included in the evaluation have contributed to the training in FLE/FP of a large number of family life educators, teachers, and nurses and, as a result, have significantly strengthened professional national capability. The projects have shown that despite the lack of official policy approving FLE in schools and generally overcrowded curricula, FLE can be introduced into schools. In the area of FP service delivery, the projects included in the evaluation have contributed to making FP services generally available through integration with the government maternal and child health services. The main management issues across the projects were similar and included staffing, coordination, supervision, monitoring and evaluation. There is a need to adjust project design so that gender separation is minimized and that the FLE content deals better with issues such as self-awareness, sex roles, and self-esteem. The wider impact of the projects included in this evaluation, to be reflected, for example, in reduced incidence of teenage pregnancy, reduced maternal and infant/child morbidity and mortality, and more generally in the life patterns of women, cannot yet be measured.
People. 1984; 11(4):4-7.A significant happening at the International Conference on Population, which took place in Mexico City during August 1984, was the world consensus on the need to act more urgently to deal with the interrelated problems of population and development and to provide the conditions of life and means by which everyone can plan their family. The note of concern about the impact of population growth and about its distribution and structure was consistent. Support for expanded family planning services came from all sides, including Africia and Latin America. The UN agencies and the World Bank came nearest to injecting a visionary and emotional charge into the occasion. Their near universal message was the need to release and mobilize the energies of the people and slow excessive population growth by investing in their health, education, environment, employment opportunities and in family planning. Bradford Morse, Administrator of the UN Development Program, added a powerful plea, that the international factors of protectionism, debt, and high increase rates, arms spending, and ddeclining aid flows must be addressed if the goals of the original Plan of Action, i.e., to promote "economic development, wuality of life, human rights, and fundamental freedoms," were to be dealt with. James Grant, Executive Director of UNICEF, stated tha the experience of the past decade confirms "that development and population programs are interacting, mutually reinforcing efforts that work with the 'seamless' web of income, nutrition, health, education, and fertility." The final document put the same idea into various paragraphs. This consensus position was simple and consistent, but in its way, revoluntionary. The elements which brought about this agreement were made clear from the start. The 1st was the change in government attitudes towards population. In 4/5 of the world governments regard population as a key factor inn development strategy. A 2nd factor was that governments now feel more independent and less under external pressure. A 3rd element was that women in nearly all countries desire fewer children than they wanted previously and many are coming out openly and stating that they did not want their last child. A 4th factor was the awareness that population problems affect developed countries as well as developing countries. Along with these changes has come greater awareness of the health and social benefits of family planning. These ideas find expression the the 38 pages of recommendations which were eventually agreed on. The most significant of these was the added emphasis given to the role and status of women.
[Unpublished] 1984 Aug 13. 40 p. (E/CONF.76/L.3; M-84-718)This report of the International Conference on Population, held in Mexico City during August 1984, includes: recommendations for action (socioeconomic development and population, the role and status of women, development of population policies, population goals and policies, and promotion of knowledge and policy) and for implementation (role of national governments; role of international cooperation; and monitoring, review, and appraisal). While many of the recommendations are addressed to governments, other efforts or initiatives are encouraged, i.e., those of international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, private institutions or organizations, or families and individuals where their efforts can make an effective contribution to overall population or development goals on the basis of strict respect for sovereignty and national legislation in force. The recommendations reflect the importance attached to an integrated approach toward population and development, both in national policies and at the international level. In view of the slow progress made since 1974 in the achievement of equality for women, the broadening of the role and the improvement of the status of women remain important goals that should be pursued as ends in themselves. The ability of women to control their own fertility forms an important basis for the enjoyment of other rights; likewise, the assurance of socioeconomic opportunities on a equal basis with men and the provision of the necessary services and facilities enable women to take greater responsibility for their reproductive lives. Governments are urged to adopt population policies and social and economic development policies that are mutually reinforcing. Countries which consider that their population growth rates hinder the attainment of national goals are invited to consider pursuing relevant demographic policies, within the framework of socioeconomic development. In planning for economic and social development, governments should give appropriate consideration to shifts in family and household structures and their implications for requirements in different policy fields. The international community should play an important role in the further implementation of the World Population Plan of Action. Organs, organizations, and bodies of the UN system and donor countries which play an important role in supporting population programs, as well as other international, regional, and subregional organizations, are urged to assist governments at their request in implementing the reccomendations.
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population and human rights: proceedings of the Symposium on Population and Human Rights, Vienna, 29 June-3 July 1981. New York, New York, United Nations, 1983. 3-22.The Population Division of the Department of International Economic and Social Affairs of the UN in cooperation with the Division of Human Rights organized a 2nd Symposium on Population and Human Rights. The purpose was to review developments in the formulation and implementation of human rights as they related to population trends and policies in the context of changing economic and social conditions. Human Rights were discussed in relation to the following topics: 1) fertility 2) mortality and morbidity 3) the status of women 4) aging 5) internal migration 6) international migration. This paper serves to introduce the general proposals that were made in regard to the areas that were considered, and also reviews the new institutional functions in the area of human rights and population. Annex I contains the agenda of the Symposium, and Annex II lists the participants.
Lexington, Massachusetts, Women's International Network News, 1982 Nov. 338 p.This report documents the existence and prevalence in Africa and in other regions of the world of the cultural practice of female circumcision and genital mutilation (FC/GM). This serious problem is examined so that it can be abolished. Until recently the problem was hidden from the public, and most health, government and international agency officials denied that the practices were widespread. In 1979 at a World Health Organization (WHO) seminar on traditional health practices, the problem received international attention. Recommendations made by the seminar participants urged nations to adopt policies to abolish FC/GM, to establish commissions to coordinate activities aimed at abolishing the practices, and to intensify efforts to educate the public and health professionals about the problem. In 1984 it was estimated that 79.97 million women in Africa had FC/GM operations performed at some time during their life. The proportion of women who have had FC/GM operations was almost 100% in Somalia, 90% in Ethiopia, 80% in Sudan, Mali, and Sierra Leone, and 60% in Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Gambia. Information is provided on 1) the extent of the practices, 2) the health problems associated with FC/GM, 3) the 1979 WHO seminar, 4) the history of FC/GM, and 5) the cultural beliefs supporting the practices. Case histories provide detailed information on the practices in 11 African countries, 4 countries on the Arab Pennisula, and 2 Asian countries, including Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Upper Volta, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The existence of FC/GM practices in many other countries, including Western nations, is also documented. These practices are also discussed in reference to the depressed status of women in many African countries, and the role of women in these countries is examined in regard to legal matters, education, employment, agriculture, family planning, development, and urbanization. Political factors hindering the abolition of the practices and the hesitancy of international agencies such as WHO, US Agency for International Development, and the UN Children's Fund, to deal with the problem are discussed. There is some evidence that FC/GM operations are being conducted in hospitals in a number of African countries, and efforts must be made to prohibit the introduction of these practices into the modern health care system. Suggestions are provided for action and education programs aimed at abolishing FC/GM practices. An annotated bibliograpy, containing 78 references, is also provided.