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  1. 1
    033766

    International family planning: the reasons for the program.

    McPherson MP

    [Unpublished] 1985 Nov 25. 8 p.

    For some time there has been an active debate centering on the relationship between population growth and economic growth and the relationship, if any, between abortion and family planning programs. This debate has been characterized by strongly held and often polarized convictions, yet the debate usually fails to consider a most important set of reasons for family planning programs. Specifically, there has been little attention directed to the interests of families and individuals. This is unfortunate since the availability or lack of family planning services is of enormous consequences to some families and individuals. These family and individual interests fall into 3 categories: the desire of couples to determine the size and spacing of their family; mother and child survival; and reduction of abortion. The right of the family to choose the number and spacing of their children was strongly reaffirmed by international consensus at the International Conference on Population in Mexico City in 1984. Governments should not dictate the number of children couples can have, but family planning services should be encouraged so that people really do have the option, if they desire, of fewer children. Families make decisions in their own interest based upon their social and economic and religious situation. Change, including urbanization and lower child mortality, has created a new situation for millions of families throughout the developing world. One can debate the impact of population growth on economic growth in a family, but there is no question that many families feel they can do more for each child if they have fewer children. The unfulfilled desire of 3rd world families to have fewer children is not just Western speculation. Surveys show a large number of women who would like to space or limit their family size but cannot because no services are available. The health and survival of mothers and children provides a 2nd important reason for family planning. 1 of the most serious consequences of women having many children in quick succession is that more children and mothers die. There are dramatic statistics that family planning saves lives. Sound economic policies and various development efforts are critical to economic growth, but family planning has been part of successful packages in some key countries in recent years. Based upon that, sound economic and population policies are mutually supportive components of a country's plans for economic growth. This was the position taken by the Agency for International Development and remains its position. Strong family planning programs should be supported in the interests of families and individuals.
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  2. 2
    007952

    A proposed plan of action for the integration of women in the development of the Eastern Mediterranean region.

    Badran H

    In: Kjurciev A, Farrag AM, ed. Population-education-development in the Arab countries. Beirut, Lebanon, Unesco Regional Office for Education in the Arab Countries, 1977. 281-95.

    The attempt is made to try to relate the situation of women in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to women's worldwide problems, and, on this basis, propose resolutions as adopted in the Mexico Conference. This discussion will be used in proposing a Regional Plan of Action within the context of the Mexico Conference. It is hoped that the proposed regional Plan will be discussed and adopted by Arab countries represented at the next meeting of the Women's Committee of the League of Arab states. The problems of women, population, and food are found to be particularly interrelated, and there is a relationship between these problems and the existing international economic order. For this region among others, the integration of women in the development process is conceptualized in terms of their roles as reproducers, producers, and citizens. The crux of the problem is the balance and coordination between these 3 roles. The following areas, which have been the focus of studies and meetings in this region as well as at the international Women's Year Conference, are reviewed: education and training; employment; population, health and social services; family roles and legislation; public participation; mass media; and research. The aim of the proposed plan is to achieve the maximum possible equality between men and women in this region for the purpose of national development. To reach this goal, 2 major objectives are identified: to improve women's skills, capabilities, and potentialities, through higher levels of literacy, education, and training on appropriate jobs; and to reduce existing prejudices aginst women, through improved attitudes in all circles. To this end, 2 types of action must be undertaken at the national level: a longterm effort to introduce structural and substantive changes in society and its systems; and increasing the relevance and extending already existing programs for the advancement of women. Most countries of the region have often indicated the need to improve the status of women, but no major steps have been taken thus far towards formulation of a comprehensive plan for such improvement. A comprehensive plan dealing with women's problems in an integrated fashion is very much needed in every Arab country. The requisites for devising the plan in each country are outlined. On the local level, the role of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund should be related to long-term and short-term activities. UNICEF may grant financial assistance, and once a comprehensive plan has been outlined it should specify clearly its inputs according to both the country's priorities and UNICEF's policy for women's promotion.
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