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[Unpublished] 2003 Jul 9. 15 p.How can information and communication technologies (ICT) be used to promote gender equality in developing nations and to empower women? This essay seeks to deal with that issue, and with the gender effects of the “information revolution.” While obvious linkages will be mentioned, the essay seeks to go beyond the obvious to deal with some of the indirect causal paths of the information revolution on the power of women and equality between the sexes. This is the third1 in a series of essays dealing with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As such, it deals specifically with Goal 3: to promote gender equality and to empower women. It is published to coincide with the International Conference on Gender and Science and Technology. The essay will also deal with the specific targets and indicators for Goal 3. (excerpt)
Karachi, Pakistan, APWA, .  p.The All Pakistan Women's Association (APWA), established in 1949 and granted consultative status with the UN in 1952, seeks to further the moral, social, economic, and legal status of Pakistani women and children. On the international level, APWA has played a leading role in promoting collaboration and a sharing of experiences on women's and children's issues among nongovernmental organizations. In addition, the APWA campaigns for international security conflict resolution and disarmament and was the 1987 recipient of the UN Peace Messenger Certificate. Within Pakistan, the provision of health care services to women and children in rural areas, urban slums, and squatter settlements is a priority. 56 family welfare centers have been established by APWA to provide family planning education and services, prenatal care, maternal-child health referrals, immunization, oral rehydration, breast feeding promotion, basic curative care, and group meetings. No other family planning services are available in the areas where these centers are located. The centers are staffed by a female health visitor, who provides a range of contraceptive methods and follows up acceptors, and motivators, who provide family planning education in the community. The motivator also recruits a volunteer in each community who opens her home as a place for weekly group meetings and contraceptive distribution. APWA's strategy, however, is to introduce family planning through community development projects aimed at income generation, child care, nutritional education, and primary and adult education. Since 1987, comprehensive rural development projects have been carried out in 20 villages in all 4 provinces. Another emphasis has been the improvement of women's status through legal action. The APWA was instrumental in having an equal rights for women clause inserted in the 1972 Interim Constitution and succeeded in preventing passage of an ordinance that would have made compensation for the murder of a woman half that for the murder of a man.
FPAN NEWSLETTER. 1995 Jan-Feb; 15(1):1-3.The International Planned Parenthood Federation/South Asia Region organized a 3-day seminar on Post ICPD Challenges; it was held February 6-8, 1995, in New Delhi, India. 48 participants attended, including Mr. Ram Krishna Neupane (FPA Nepal; Director General), Mr. Prabhat Rana (FPA Nepal; Director, Program Support Services Division), Ms. Prabha Thakkar (Manusi), Ms. Maya Giri (Radio Nepal), and Ms. Ami Joshi (Center for Women in Development). Ms. Avabai B. Wadia, President of the Family Planning Association of India, chaired the inaugural session; Mr. G. Verghees made the inaugural address. Dr. Indira Kapoor (IPPF/ASR; Regional Director), Dr. Pramila Senanayake (IPPF; Assistant Secretary General), and Mrs. Sunetra Puri (IPPF; Director, Public Affairs Department) presented papers on different topics highlighting the linkage between the IPPF VISION 2000 and the ICPD Plan of Action, and the need for a collaborating program in this area. Plenary presentation and discussions were held to provide an overview of plans to take the ICPD forward on women's issues (the empowerment of women, unsafe abortion, sexual and reproductive health). Dr. Ram Krishna Neupane represented Nepalese views in this area. This seminar was the first of its kind to draw together representatives of the media, women's organizations, and service providers; it was successful in eradicating misconceptions regarding the modern methods of contraception, in clarifying the misunderstandings between the media and the service providers, in strengthening commitment, and in preparing a plan of action for each member country in order to implement the ICPD Plan of Action.
POPULI. 1994 Jul-Aug; 21(7):4-6.An agenda for significant change is proposed for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Current progress toward the agenda is viewed as insufficient unless there are resource reallocations, political will, vision, and the adoption of the agenda at the ICPD. The ICPD goals also should be accepted by the World Summit for Social Development and by the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 in order to achieve human security and development. Population agencies must 1) increase investments in health, education, water, sanitation, housing, and social services; 2) enact and enforce legislation empowering women in sexual, social, and political ways; 3) provide credit, training, and income development so women can have decent lives; 4) involve women's advocates at all levels of decision making; and 5) eliminate the gender gap in education, prevent violence against girls, and eliminate sex role stereotypes. The literature in the population field has neglected sexuality, gender roles, and relations and has concentrated on unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and contraceptive efficacy. Many family planning (FP) programs reinforce gender roles. Improvement in the quality of services must be a top priority for FP programs. Quality of care is conceptualized differently by FP providers and women's health advocates. Basic program management and logistics systems could be changed with modest investments in staff motivation and revised allocations of human and financial resources. Clients must be treated with dignity and respect. Programs should not concentrate on married, fertile women to the neglect of adolescents and other sexually active women. Preventive health should include those sexually active beyond the reproductive age. Men's responsibility in FP is viewed as fashionable but problematic in terms of actual program change.
Creating common ground in Asia: women's perspectives on the selection and introduction of fertility regulation technologies.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO]. Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, 1994. 45 p.Participants from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other countries with which WHO's Special Programme of Research, Development, and Research Training in Human Reproduction collaborates and in which women's groups are active attended the Asian regional meeting on Women's Perspectives on the Research and Introduction of Fertility Regulation Technologies in February 1991. The meeting aimed to establish a dialogue between women's groups and researchers, policymakers, and family planning service providers. Other objectives included defining women's needs and viewpoints on reproductive health and fertility regulating technologies and identifying appropriate follow-up activities which would form a basis for regional networking. WHO's Special Programme of Research, Development, and Research Training in Human Reproduction published a report of the meeting. The meeting consisted of plenary sessions, group work, and keynote presentations. Presentations addressed women's realities, policy considerations, research, and service provision. Topics concerning women's realities were community attitudes towards fertility and its control, women's autonomy, health status, and family planning services. Presentations on policy considerations covered: taking users into account, objectives of family planning programs, participation in decision making, and men's responsibility. Redefining safety and acceptability as well as research on female barrier methods were addressed during presentations on research. The report presents proposals for action for Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Meeting participants reached a consensus on recommendations addressing policy, research, services, and WHO. The report concludes with a list of participants and a list of papers presented.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHALLENGES. 1994; (1):28-30.From 1963 to 1987, the Palestinian Family Planning (FP) and Protection Association (FPA) set up 11 urban clinics and branches. As the result of a needs survey in 1985, the FPA was planning to provide more services in rural areas. The political situation and the 1987 start of the Intifada, however, made delivery of even existing services more difficult and helped create a pronatalist atmosphere which was fueled by religious opposition to FP. In order to continue its work, the FPA took advantage of interagency cooperation with the nongovernmental organizations which had existing health clinics and which agreed to provide contraceptives in exchange for a percentage of the sales revenue. The role of the FPA was to provide the supplies and to train staff in service provision. The FPA also used this cooperative system to funnel FP information, education, and communication to women's groups. Through these efforts the FPA reached 60% more new clients in 1992 than it had in 1991. This successful cooperative method had its roots in the efforts the FPA had made since the 1970s to provide FP services in the maternal and child care clinics for refugees set up by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). In 1993, the FPA received funding to open its own clinic in Gaza (where 75% of the people are refugees). The FPA is also actively seeking the involvement of religious leaders in discussions about the incorporation of FP in refugee health programs. Meanwhile, in 1990, the UNRWA began to offer FP as part of its maternal health program and to refer clients to the FPA where they were served free of charge. When the UNRWA began to provide FP services directly, the FPA provided the training for the UNRWA personnel. By remaining flexible, the FPA has been able to use appropriate channels to deliver its own expertise to women in need. Creative new approaches will continue to be called for to reach the thousands of women who remain in need of FP services.
PRO FAMILIA MAGAZIN. 1992 Mar-Apr; (2):12-4.Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) enjoy regular attention in the wake of the misfortunes and failures of international family planning (FP) programs, since these are market-oriented management and knowledge organizations. Development assistance administrations increasingly rely on cooperation with NGOs because of their grass-roots orientation. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) verified in a 1990 study on reproductive rights of women that only 50% of UN members had a functional FP service. In Eastern Europe there has been a clear rejection of centralized bureaucracies making nonstate FP organizations consider their future orientation. For 20 years the IPPF sensitized UN organizations and governments to the idea of FP, being the first NGO in FP. At present hundreds of organization compete with IPPF, among them nonstate FP organizations (FPOs), research and educational outfits, lobby groups, and international women networks (International Women's Health Coalition, FINRAGE, ISIS, Women's Global Network of Reproductive Rights) with differing size, ideology, and influence. Critics are afraid of increasing bureaucratization and remoteness from human beings of such NGOs. The causes of meager success of institutionalized FP include lack of cultural modification, lagging practice of male contraception, sexual violence and discrimination against women, no halt to the spread of AIDS especially among heterosexuals, and feeble programs. A program of sexual culture integrates good and bad sexuality recognizing various life styles that men and women choose. It includes sexual emancipation. The elimination of exploitation of children and women requires further efforts. In view of the poverty and environmental destruction in developing countries, the program of sexual culture is necessary, since it will reestablish the sexual basis of family planning.
POPULI. 1993 Feb; 20(2):12-3.The Delhi Declaration and Vision 2000 is IPPF's strategic plan for directing efforts through the end of the 20th century. This brave and angry plan points out the need for IPPF to interact more closely with women's groups and nongovernmental organizations to address the needs of marginalized people. Women's status is lower than that of men in most societies. During the 1980s, family planning (FP) programs in some developing countries (e.g., Bangladesh, Brazil, India, and Mexico) directly or structurally pressured women to become sterilized or take part in clinical trials of injectable contraceptives and subdermal implants. IPPF calls for more funds from donor governments for research and development because pharmaceutical companies do the research, but lawsuits, adverse publicity, and consumer campaigns have resulted in reduced pharmaceutical company supported research. Adverse publicity has also been waged against international FP and population control groups, mainly because they do not include women in decision-making roles in all aspects of contraception research. The Declaration calls for a wider women's role in making decisions affecting FP, sexual health, and reproductive rights. Developed and developing countries should share power and freedom. Contraception has brought about positive changes in women's lives, e.g., better health for mother and child. About 51% of couples in developing countries use FP methods, but 300 - 500 million married women who want to use contraceptive still do not have access to it. Since religion, tradition, and peer pressure influence family size, public education is needed. The media needs to become more objective when they report on FP successes rather than on 1 problematic sterilization. AIDS, more unsafe abortions, and unwanted pregnancies make this brave and angry plan even more relevant to addressing today's needs.
New York, New York, UNFPA, . v, 69,  p. (Evaluation Report)In 1991, a mission in India, Bhutan and Nepal evaluated UNFPA/WHO South East Asian Regional Office (SEARO) maternal and child health/family planning (MCH/FP) projects. The Regional Advisory Team in MCH/FP Project (RT) placed more emphasis on the MCH component than the FP component. It included all priority areas identified in 1984, but did not include management until 1988. In fact, it delayed recruiting a technical officer and recruited someone who was unqualified and who performed poorly. SEARO improved cooperation between RT and community health units and named the team leader as regional adviser for family health. The RT team did not promote itself very well, however, Member countries and UNFPA did request technical assistance from RT for MCH/FP projects, especially operations research. RT also set up fruitful intercountry workshops. The team did not put much effort in training, adolescent health, and transfer of technology, though. Further RT project management was still weak. Overall SEARO had been able to follow the policies of governments, but often its advisors did not follow UNFPA guidelines when helping countries plan the design and strategy of country projects. Delays in approval were common in all the projects reviewed by the mission. Furthermore previous evaluations also identified this weakness. In addition, a project in Bhutan addressed mothers' concerns but ignored other women's roles such as managers of households and wage earners. Besides, little was done to include women's participation in health sector decision making at the basic health unit and at the central health ministry. In Nepal, institution building did not include advancement for women or encourage proactive role roles of qualified women medical professionals. In Bhutan, but not Nepal, fellowships and study tours helped increase the number of trained personnel attending intercountry activities.