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[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.