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The changing roles of women and men in the family and fertility regulation: some labour policy aspects
In: Family and population. Proceedings of the "Scientific Conference on Family and Population," Espoo, Finland, May 25-27, 1984, edited by Hellevi Hatunen. Helsinki, Finland, Vaestoliitto, 1984. 62-83.There is growing evidence that labor policies, such as those advocated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), promote changes in familial roles and that these changes in turn have an impact on fertility. A conceptual model describing these linkages is offered and the degree to which the linkages hypothesized in the model are supported by research findings is indicated. The conceptual model specifies that: 1) as reliance on child labor declines, through the enactment of minimum age labor laws, the economic value of children declines, and parents adopt smaller family size ideals; 2) as security increases for the elderly, through the provision of social security and pension plans, the elderly become less dependent on their children, and the perceived need to produce enough children to ensure security in old age is diminished; and 3) as sexual equality in job training and employment and the availability of flexible work schedules increase, sexual equality in the domestic setting increases, and women begin to exert more control over their own fertility. ILO studies and many other studies provide considerable evidence in support of these hypothesized linkages; however, the direction or causal nature of some of the associations has not been established. Development levels, rural or urban residence, and a number of other factors also appear to influence many of these relationships. Overall, the growing body of evidence accords well with ILO programs and instruments which promote: 1) the enactment of minimum age work laws to reduce reliance on child labor, 2) the establishment of social security systems and pension plans to promote the economic independence of the elderly, 3) the promotion of sexual equality in training programs and employment; 4) the promotion of the idea of sexual equality in the domestic setting; and 5) the establishment of employment policies which do not unfairly discriminate against workers with family responsibilities.
In: D'Souza AA, de Souza A, ed. Population growth and human development. New Delhi, India, Indian Social Institute, 1974. 27-31.The actions undertaken by UNFPA on population matters have been guided by 3 basic principles. 1st is the emphasis on the right of the individual to have access to knowledge and facilities on the basis of which he/she could decide freely on the family size and child spacing. 2ndly, population has always been viewed by the UN in the larger context of development. 3rdly, the responsibility for action on population questions is considered to be within the sovereign domain of national governments. The increasing involvement of national governments in population activities and the increasing role of the UN system in providing assistance for such programs led to the designation of World Population Year in 1974. The Year provides an opportunity for increasing the awareness and understanding of population questions among people around the world. Community groups have an important role to play in promoting awareness and understanding of the population question among people everywhere. The community accepts ideas more easily if they can be shown to have already acquired a degree of social acceptability. The population question touches the standards of moral and ethical behavior in a personal way. If it can be shown that the new patterns of family life are related in a significant way to well established norms of ethical behavior, it will be so much easier for individuals to follow new patterns of behavior. The role of education in promoting and deepening awareness of population issues should be included in the development of population information.
[Unpublished] 1983. Presented at the International Conference on Population, 1984, Expert Group on Fertility and Family, New Delhi, January 5-11, 1983. 22 p. (IESA/P/ICP. 1984/EG.I/8)The World Health Organization (WHO) has been studying several national surveys with regard to certain health related aspects of fertility. The primary purpose of these studies was to stimulate the use of data by the national health authorities for an improved care system for maternal and child health, including family planning. Some preliminary results are reported in this discussion, in particular those relating to contraception, the reproductive health of adolescents, infertility and subfecundity, and breastfeeding. The national surveys concerned are those of Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. The methods of analysis were simple and traditional, except for 2 points: some of the data had to be obtained by additional tabulation of the raw data tapes and/or the recode tapes since the standard tabulations of the First Country Reports did not include the needed information; and Correspondence Analysis was used in an effort to stimulate and facilitate the use of the findings for improvements of national health programs. Methods of contraception vary widely, from 1 country to another and by age, parity, and socioeconomic grouping. The younger women tend to choose more effective modern methods, such as oral contraception (OC); the older women, i.e., those over age 35, tend to seek sterilization, if available. It is evident that the historical development of family planning methods has greatly influenced the current "mix" of methods and so has the current supply situation and the capacity of the health care system (particularly in regard to IUD insertions and sterilizations. Use of contraception among adolescents to postpone the 1st birth was practically unknown. The risk of complications at pregnancy and childbirth, including maternal and infant death, is known to be particularly high for young mothers, and the results clearly showed that the infant mortality rate is highest for the youngest mothers. All the women who suffer from infertility do not recognize their condition, but the limited data still point to the need to consider the health needs of women who suffer from unwanted fecundity impairments. This may require medical intervention to cure infections or the offer of relevant sexual counseling. Some infecundity may require the improvement of nutritional and personal hygienic levels before meaningful achievements are made. The prevalence of breastfeeding has declined in some population groups, and the consequences can be expected to be deleterious and to involve serious increases in specific morbidity and mortality.