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Population 2005. 2005 Mar-Apr; 4(1):11.After two decades of war that ravaged the country and five years of rule by the fundamentalist Taliban regime that curtailed the rights of women, lack of health care, education and opportunities for women are among the many challenges that now confront Afghanistan. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says it is moving fast to improve women’s health and social standing in Afghanistan. "When we asked for help in reconstructing an office for our ministry, UNFPA really acted quickly," says Dr. Sima Samar, minister for women’s affairs in Afghanistan’s interim administration. Speaking on International Women’s Day on March 8, Thoraya A. Obaid, UNFPA executive director, said: "In Afghanistan, after 23 years of conflict including five years of virtual house arrest, Afghan women are more than ready to restart their lives and rebuild their country. They deserve the world’s full support." (excerpt)
Promoting the participation of indigenous women in World Bank-funded social sector projects: an evaluation study in Mexico. [Promoción de la participación de las mujeres indígenas en los proyectos del sector social fundados por el Banco Mundial: estudio de evaluación en México]
Washington, D.C., International Center for Research on Women [ICRW], Promoting Women in Development [PROWID], 1999. 4 p. (Report-in-Brief; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. FAO-A-00-95-00030-00)Mexico has long been one of the World Bank’s primary clients and is currently its largest cumulative borrower, with loan commitments of up to $5.5 billion approved for 1997-99 (World Bank 1996). During the past 15 years, the focus of the Bank’s lending program in Mexico has shifted away from structural adjustment towards poverty reduction, a strategy that emphasizes investment in health and education. As elsewhere around the world, gender differences in these sectors in Mexico are prevalent with regard to access to and control over resources and decision-making. Given the multiple roles that women play in production, reproduction, child rearing, and household maintenance, social sector projects that target women generate economic and social benefits both for individuals and countries as a whole. Consequently, the Bank has increasingly funded projects that aim to strengthen the participation and position of women in development. The Bank’s publications, official policies, and project guidelines also acknowledge the importance and benefits of promoting women’s roles and empowerment (Women’s Eyes on the World Bank, U.S. 1997; World Bank 1994, 1995, 1997). However, little has been done to evaluate what resources and opportunities are needed to improve the actual standing and participation of women in both Bank-funded programs and society as a whole. While the Bank launched a Gender Action Plan for Central America and Mexico in 1996, this Plan does not clearly define gender impact and assumes that strategies aimed at communities will affect men and women in similar ways. Further, the Bank’s effectiveness in applying its own guidelines on gender and community participation to policy, project design, and implementation on the ground has not been systematically assessed. (excerpt)
[Resolution No.] 47/95. Implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women [16 December 1992].
RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DURING ITS FORTY-SEVENTH SESSION. 1993; 1:176-8.This document contains the text of a 1992 resolution of the UN General Assembly on implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women. The resolution calls for an improved pace in the implementation of the Strategies because the cost of failing to implement the Strategies would include slowed economic and social development, inadequate use of human resources, and reduced progress. Thus, governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations are urged to implement the recommendations, and member states are asked to give priority to programs which improve women's employment, health, and education (especially literacy). The central role of the Commission on the Status of Women is reaffirmed, and the Commission is asked to pay particular attention to women in the least developed countries. Other issues which require urgent attention include promoting the total integration of women in the development process and redressing socioeconomic inequities at the national and international levels. The Secretary-General is asked to perform specific tasks including the continued updating of the "World Survey on the Role of Women in Development."
SOCIETY. 1995 May-Jun; 32(4):11-5.The author reviews the successes and failures of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo, Egypt, in September 1994. He suggests that the conference missed the opportunity to focus on the seriousness of global population trends by allowing itself to be diverted to consideration of such topics as the empowerment of women and reproductive health concerns. "The good news from Cairo is the promise of a significant infusion of money into the field; however, a third of that is slated for women's reproductive health and HIV/AIDS-prevention programs. The conference was a resounding success for the advocates of women's reproductive health but a disappointment to many concerned about population growth. And the two are not synonymous." (EXCERPT)
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], . , 34 p.Women are the heart of development since they control most of the nonmoney economy including subsistence agriculture, child bearing and raising, as well as play an important part in the money economy. The status of women will be crucial in determining future population growth rates. The woman's dependence offered her some protection in return for her production of sons, leading to practices which have existed for centuries and are woven into society. In developing countries women tend to marry young: 50% in Africa, 40% in Asia, and 30% in Latin America are married by the age of 18. In most societies women's social and economic standing is closely related to child bearing. In 8 out of 9 cultures there is a preference for sons over daughters and parents expect little from a girl once she is married. Childbirth anywhere has its risks but in developing countries the risks are multiplied. The youngest and oldest mothers are the most at risk. Women are normally the collectors of water and firewood. Environmental degradation forces them on long strenuous trips to get these vital resources. Migration is a growing phenomenon in the developing world. 1 in 3 households are without man because of migration. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is having a dramatic impact on women and their children, especially in developing countries where there is a lack of information, advice and service. Most of the health problems in developing countries could be solved by a combination of prevention and cure which centers around women since they are the providers as well as the recipients of health care. Education is a key factor since the more a women receives, the better the chances are for her children's survival. By reducing women's work load and making labor more profitable, family size might decrease which would decrease the load further. Recommendations include publicizing contributions, increasing productivity, providing family planning and health care, and expanding education and equality of opportunity for women.