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Female circumcision, AIDS discrimination to be monitored - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
UN Chronicle. 1990 Jun; 27(2): p..The eradication of female circumcision and avoidance of discrimination against women victims of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were the subjects of two general recommendations adopted at the ninth annual session of States Parties to the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The 100 States Parties were asked to report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women-the 23-member body which monitors compliance with the instrument-on measures taken to eliminate female circumcision which, it stated, has "serious health and other consequences for women and children". (excerpt)
Population 2005. 2002 Mar-Apr; 4(1):1, 8-10.Significant legal and policy provisions and improved access to information have helped women and adolescents in many countries to become aware of their reproductive rights and make informed choices about childbearing. This has resulted in more people in the world using family planning today than ever before. Yet, millions of women still become pregnant before they expect to and have more children than they want, the United Nations says in a report. "Today’s adolescents have far more choices than their parents had. Access to basic education, especially for girls, offers new opportunities for work, careers, and higher education," according to the World Population Monitoring report prepared by the UN Population Division. Education also enables young people to obtain the necessary information to make "responsible and informed choices and decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health needs," says the report presented at the 35th session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development in New York in the first week of April. (excerpt)
Population 2005. 2004 Jun; 6(2):15.A conference titled, “Cairo and Beyond: Reproductive Rights and Culture” was organized by the Dutch government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on International Women’s Day, March 8th in Amsterdam. The event concluded with a pledge to “break the silence and taboos on culture and religion and their relation to reproductive and sexual health and rights,” by Agnes van Ardenne, Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation and Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA. They also promised “to establish a permanent dialogue on these vital issues.” Over 100 experts from around the world attended the event and participants agreed that although progress has been made in the ten years since the 1994 ICPD in Cairo, many substantial challenges still remain. The conference focused specifically on those challenges related to the interconnections between culture and reproductive rights. (excerpt)
Female circumcision: strategies to bring about change. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Female Circumcision, 13-16 June 1988, Mogadisho, Somalia.
Rome, Italy, AIDOS, 1989. VIII, 148,  p.This book contains the proceedings of the 1988 International Seminar on Female Circumcision in Somalia. The first part relays the introductory addresses presented by the Assistant Secretary General of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Somali Minister of Health, the Italian Ambassador to Somalia, the World Health Organization's resident representative in Somalia, and the President of the Somali Women's Democratic Organization. Part 2 offers five reports on efforts towards international cooperation to eliminate female genital mutilation undertaken by North/South women's organizations, the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, the Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development, and the World Health Organization. Part 3 includes three reports on religious and legal aspects of female genital mutilation, and part 4 presents reports of eradication efforts ongoing in Egypt, Nigeria, the Gambia, and Sudan. The fifth part of the volume is devoted to six reports on aspects of the practice of female genital mutilation in Somalia as well as eradication efforts that involve an information campaign and training. Part 6 reprints the reports of the working groups on health, the law, training and information, and religion, and the final part covers the final resolutions and closing addresses by a UN Children's Fund representative, a representative of the UN Commission for Human Rights, and the Assistant Secretary General of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. The Inter-African Committee's Plan of Action for the Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, approved by the seminar, is contained in the first appendix, and a list of seminar participants is attached in the second.
Report of the Global Action Against Female Genital Mutilation First Inter-Agency Working Group Meeting, Doral Inn Hotel, Lexington Avenue, New York, New York, 3-4 November 1994.
[Unpublished] 1994. , 22,  p.The Global Action Against Female Genital Mutilation (GAAFGM) Project facilitates the Inter-Agency Working Group which held its first meeting in November 1994 in New York City. Participants were representatives from UN agencies, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies, private foundations, research and technical assistance organizations, and associates from Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. After the welcoming remarks, the director of the Reproductive Rights Project at Columbia University presented a paper entitled "Linking Health and Human Rights: Applying Evolving Concepts to FGM." The director of the GAAFGM Project then reviewed its policy and objectives. GAAFGM Project activities revolve around advocacy and policy, the information clearing house, epidemiological and behavior research, skill and counseling training, development of media messages, and fund-raising and subgranting. The director also presented basic facts about FGM. In-country experiences presented included Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. The Special Projects Director of Population Action International presented a paper entitled "Funding and Technical Assistance: Past Experiences and Future Opportunities, Challenges, Successes and Pitfalls in Funding for FGM." The director of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) shared PATH's experience of providing technical assistance in Nigeria and Kenya. The next topic discussed was developing policies and programs on FGM within international agencies, the examples being UNICEF and USAID. The report of this first meeting of the Inter-Agency Working Group provides summaries of FGM-related work of selected agencies (e.g., UNFPA and the Danish Development Aid Agency). At the conclusion of the meeting, participants decided on the next steps for the Inter-Agency Working Group. Based on the meeting's evaluations, GAAFGM learned what steps it needs to take next.
The Board of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) on the occasion of a Congress held in Berlin in July 1993 adopted the following Resolution on the Genital Mutilation of Females.
INTER-AFRICAN COMMITTEE TRADITIONAL PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HEALTH OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN. NEWSLETTER. 1993 Dec; (15):10.The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) invoked the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women to condemn the practice of female genital mutilation. The IHEU further called female genital mutilation an extreme form of female subjugation that eliminates the possibility of a woman participating equally with men in the enjoyment of sexual activity and said it represents gross child abuse and an appalling assault on the physiological health of the 80-100 million girls and women affected by the practice. The IHEU pledged its full moral and financial support to efforts to ameliorate this global problem and asked its institutions to monitor the situation. IHEU member organizations were called upon to lobby their governments and nongovernmental organizations to encourage appropriate education programs and to press for appropriate legislation to eliminate female genital mutilation.
[Unpublished] 1986. 6 p. (WHO/CDD/CMT/86.1)This article presents an overview of current therapeutic practice as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) Diarrheal Disease Control Program. The recommendations apply solely to acute diarrheal disease in infants and children. Therapy for such cases is primarily concerned with the prevention or correction of dehydration, the maintenance of nutrition, and the treatment of dysentery. The various approaches to treatment considered are: 1) oral rehydration, which is highly effective for combating dehydration and its serious consequences, but does not diminish the amount or duration of diarrhea; 2) antimotility drugs, none of which are recommended for use in infants and children because the benefits are modest and they may cause serious side effects, such as nausea and vomiting; 3) antisecretory drugs, only a few of which have been properly studied in clinical trials, virtually all of which have important side effects, a low therapeutic index, and/or only modest efficacy. Consequently, none can at present be recommended for the treatment of acute infectious diarrhea in infants and children. 4) aciduric bacteria, on which conclusive evidence is still lacking; 5) adsorbents: kaolin and charcoal have been proposed as antidiarrheal agents in view of their ability to bind and inactivate bacterial toxins, but the results of clinical studies have been disappointing. 6) improved Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS): this may turn out to be the most effective and safest antidiarrheal drug. 7) antibiotics and antiparasitic drugs for a few infectious diarrheas (e.g., cholera). Antibiotics can significantly diminish the severity and duration of diarrhea and shorten the duration of excretion of the pathogen. No antibiotic or chemotherapeutic agent has proven value fort the routine treatment of acute diarrhea; their use is inappropriate and possibly dangerous. It is concluded that oral that oral rehydration is the only cost-effective method of treating diarrhea among infants and children.The Inter-African Committee's (IAC) work against harmful traditional practices is mainly directed against female circumcision. Progress towards this aim is achieved mostly through the efforts of th non governmental organizations (NGO) Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children and the IAC. In 1984 the NGO Working Group organized a seminar in Dakar on such harmful traditional practices in Africa. The IAC was created to follow up the implementation of the recommendations of the Dakar seminar. The IAC has endeavored to strengthen local activities by creating national committees in Benin, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Togo. IAC activities in each country are briefly described In addition, the IAC has created an anatomical model, flannelgraphs, and slides to provide adequate educational material for the training of medical staff in teaching hospitals and to make village women aware of the harmful effects of female circumcision. The IAC held 2 African workshops at the Nairobi UN Decade for Women Conference. The African participants recognized the need for international solidarity to fight female circumcision and showed a far more definite and positive difference in their attitude towards the harmful practice than was demonstrated at the Copenhagen Conference/ Forum of 1980. At the United Nations level, female circumcision is receiving serious consideration. A special Working Group has been set up to examine the phenomenon. Finally, this article includes a statement by a sheikh from the Al Azhar University in Cairo about Islam's attitude to female circumcision.
Report on the launching of National Plan of Action for Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation workshop.
[Nairobi], Kenya, Ministry of Health, 1999 Nov. 19 p.This paper discusses female genital mutilation (FGM), which was addressed at the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development. Research studies have shown the nature and extent of FGM. The three types of circumcision (type I, clitoridectomy; type II, excision; type III, infibulation) are widely practiced by various Kenyan tribes, with each tribe perpetuating a particular type. In view of this, Kenya has identified FGM as one of the harmful traditional practices that have to be eliminated. In response, the Health Ministers from the African Region passed a number of resolutions calling on the member states where FGM is practiced. Moreover, in order to achieve the resolutions, the UN Development Program/UN Children's Fund Kenya offices held various meetings whose members were drawn from nongovernmental organizations and government ministries. The mission of these meetings was to establish committees that would coordinate the efforts of eliminating the FGM practice; hence the core group, consisting of 40 members, was established. The Ministry of Health, a member of the Core Team spearheaded the development of the National Action Plan for Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation. To facilitate the activity, Ministry of Health approached the WHO for financial and technical assistance.
WIN. WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL NETWORK NEWS. 2001 Spring; 27(2):60-3.This paper reports on the 5th Inter-African Committee (IAC) Regional Conference/General Assembly on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, held in Tanzania. The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Deputy Minister of Health. The welcome address was given by IAC president Berhane Ras-Work, who pointed out that the IAC had been able to establish beyond doubt the place of harmful traditional practices (HTPs) as a global issue. Dr. Wedson Mwambazi, the representative of WHO, re-emphasized in his statement the commitment of WHO to the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM) and other HTPs. Mr. Teferi Seyoum, representative of UN Family Planning Association, shared the efforts made by IAC to the fight against FGM/HTPs. A summary of the president's report includes a 3-year activity report, which was presented by Berhane Ras-Work. The senior program officer gave a summary of all the activities of IAC during the reporting period. Reports of 25 national committees presented their 3-year activity reports and reports of the activities of youth. Panel discussions were held on best practices in the eradication of HTPs by the National Committees. Finally, four papers were presented during the Conference. These include the IAC's Plan of Action, various legal instruments that protect the rights of women and children, and the emerging issue of asylum seekers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1996 Aug. 3 p. (Fact Sheet No. 128)The WHO Global Commission on Women's Health, a high level advocacy body which promotes women health issues nationally and internationally, focused on the issue of violence against women at its meeting in 1996. Violence against women has become widely recognized as a major issue of women's human rights; however, there has also been growing awareness of the impact of violence on women's mental and physical health. Studies have shown that the most pervasive form of gender violence is violence against women by their intimate male partners or ex-partners, including the physical, mental and sexual abuse of women and children and adolescents. Approximately 40 population-based quantitative studies conducted in 24 countries revealed a range of 20-50% of women being victims of physical abuse by their partners; 50-60% of them were raped as well. Victims of violence are likely to develop behaviors that are self-injurious, such as substance abuse and smoking.
Highlights from the Third Annual Inter-Agency Working Group on FGM Meeting, Cairo, Egypt, November, 1996.
[Unpublished] 1996. 13 p.In November 1996, more than 34 representatives from 20 organizations attended the Third Annual Inter-Agency Working Group meeting on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Cairo, Egypt. After opening remarks by the Chairperson of the Task Force on FGM in Egypt and the Egyptian Under Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population, other discussions placed FGM in the larger context of women's human rights, reviewed the background of the Global Action Against FGM Project and the goals of the Inter-Agency Working Group, and provided an overview of the activities of RAINBO (Research, Action, and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women). A report was then given of a research workshop organized by RAINBO and the Egyptian Task Force on FGM immediately prior to the Working Group meeting. It was noted that data from the recent Demographic and Health Survey revealed an FGM prevalence rate of 97% in Egypt, and areas requiring more research were highlighted. Discussion following this presentation included mention of qualitative methods used in a recent study in Sierra Leone and recent research in the Sudan that led to recommended intervention strategies. During the second day of the Working Group meeting, participants provided a preview of the work of the Egyptian Task Force Against FGM; a description of RAINBO's effort to develop training of trainers reproductive health and FGM materials; and summaries of the work of nongovernmental organizations, private foundations, UN agencies, and bilateral donors. This meeting report ends with a list of participants.
In: Female circumcision: strategies to bring about change. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Female Circumcision, 13-16 June 1988, Mogadisho, Somalia, [compiled by] Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo [and] Somali Women's Democratic Organization. Rome, Italy, Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo, 1989. 129-32.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948. The provisions of that declaration have inspired many of the measures taken by the UN bodies to advance women's status. The issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) was considered in 1981 by the Human Rights Working Group on Slavery. That group considered information received from a nongovernmental organization on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children and recommended that the information be brought to the attention of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities decided in 1982 and 1984 that a study should be undertaken on all aspects of FGM and how the problem may be resolved. An interagency working group was subsequently commissioned to conduct the study. At its last session of 1989, the Commission on Human Rights asked the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to consider measures to be taken at the national and international levels to eradicate the practice of FGM, and to submit a report to the commission at its 46th session in 1990. The author also briefly describes UN actions with regard to protecting the rights of the child.
In: Female circumcision: strategies to bring about change. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Female Circumcision, 13-16 June 1988, Mogadisho, Somalia, [compiled by] Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo [and] Somali Women's Democratic Organization. Rome, Italy, Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo, 1989. 127-8.The author, UNICEF Representative to Somalia, congratulates the Somali Women's Democratic Organization (SWDO) and the Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo (AIDOS) for their efforts in convening the 1988 International Seminar on Female Circumcision held in Mogadisho, Somalia. It is estimated that almost all girls in Somalia undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). That high rate of FGM directly influences the country's high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality. The formation in 1978 of Somalia's National Commission for the Abolition of Female Circumcision was an important starting point in efforts to eradicate FGM. The government has since issued a strong statement of intent to eradicate FGM. That intent is backed by a program of action. UNICEF salutes the success of SWDO in mobilizing political will at the highest levels of government to solve the problem of FGM. Interest and momentum for change must now be sustained. Globally, UNICEF's approach is centered upon the conviction that FGM can be fought by promoting the awareness of the public, of health professionals, and of traditional health workers. The involvement of communities and their leaders is a key factor for success.
In: Female circumcision: strategies to bring about change. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Female Circumcision, 13-16 June 1988, Mogadisho, Somalia, [compiled by] Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo [and] Somali Women's Democratic Organization. Rome, Italy, Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo, 1989. 43-5.The World Health Organization's (WHO) interest in promoting women's status and improving their role in economic and social development was formally acknowledged in its declaration of 1975 as International Women's Year and the proclamation of the next decade as the United Nations Decade for Women. The 1975 World Health Assembly passed a resolution urging governments to widen the range of opportunity for women in all aspects of health and to ensure their further integration in health activities. The assembly gave special attention to traditional practices and their effects upon women's health, with the main goal of promoting proven useful customs and eliminating harmful ones. The WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional office has worked to collect information and stimulate interest in female genital mutilation (FGM). Adequate data have been collected to clearly document the deleterious health effects of FGM. Efforts must now be made to convince people at the local level to terminate its practice.
Cooperation by UNICEF in the elimination of traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa (Extract).
In: Report on a Seminar on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, organized by the Senegal Ministry of Public Health and the NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. Dakar, Senegal, Ministry of Public Health and NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women adn Children, 1984. 182-4.This contribution begins with a statement of praise for the efforts of the Senegal conference, complimenting the conference's recognition of positive and negative influencing practices. Positive practices should be encouraged with arguments and striking examples. Attention is drawn to UNICEF document PRO-71, the product of the 1980 Inter-Organization Consultation Meeting on Combating the Practice of Female Circumcision (FC), through the improvement of women's status, and the elimination of false ideologies such as those related to the necessity of FC for the preservation of female modesty, virginity, and chastity. Further attention is drawn to the efforts of a multi-disciplinary study group on FC set up in Ivory coast. Finally, the readiness of UNICEF to further female and child health development, and growth chart, oral rehydration, breastfeeding immunization, food supplementation, family spacing, and female education developments, are discussed.