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Genus. 2005 Jul-Dec; 61(3-4):141-163.World demographic growth at the time of the Rome Conference in 1954 was characterized by unprecedented high rates of natural increase. This was the consequence of the combined effect of faster declines in death rates and sustained high birth rates. As a result, world population would double from three to six billion between 1960 and 1999 and from 5 to 6 billion in just 12 years (1987-1999), while it had taken the world four times as much to double from 1.5 to 3 billion and nearly a millennium to reach the first billion. What triggered this growth were primarily unprecedented mortality declines, a better control of major killer diseases and increases in survival particularly in the developing countries (life expectancy increased from 41 to 65 years on average over the last three decades). With such unprecedented growth rates, the theory of demographic transition acquired particular policy significance in the late 1950s to raise a serious concern about the impact of current and projected growth rates both within countries and internationally at the economic, social and geopolitical levels. This theory would soon become the driving force behind all population policy objectives aimed at third world countries where governments were encouraged to formulate population policies, establish policy institutions and programme structures to implement family planning programmes, bring about smaller-sized families and help couples avoid unwanted pregnancies. (excerpt)
Women's organizations in El Salvador: history, accomplishments, and international support. [Organizaciones femeninas en El Salvador: historia, logros y apoyo internacional]
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 183-203.Women's organizations in El Salvador have undergone a unique evolution, first in relation to the conditions of war that permeated El Salvador from 1980 to 1992 and then in response to economic restructuring and the challenges of democratization following the war. The conditions of El Salvador's civil war, along with the fact that many women's organizations became stronger during the war, have resulted in a unique set of organizations that are marked by their autonomy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Early-conflict women's organizations (1980 to 1985) were characterized by their attachment to a wide range of popular grass-roots organizations and attempts to incorporate women into these groups. Many of these organizations mobilized women around economic issues, survival in the war, and human rights. A few formed in this period began to work with battered women and to question women's legal, political, and domestic subordination. Few, however, were willing to embrace the concept of feminism. Late-conflict and post-conflict women's organizations (1986 to 2001) are characterized by women challenging gender hierarchies within mixed grass-roots organizations and putting forth a gendered discourse on specific women's rights, ranging from violence against women to inequities in the labor force. Feminism also became more prevalent during this time. In this chapter we look at the particular changes found in women's organizations and link them to specific historical, social, and economic circumstances. We then evaluate what the impact of women's organizations has been in terms of empowering Salvadoran women and make recommendations for international donor organizations so that they can better serve Salvadoran women's organizations. (excerpt)
International Social Science Journal. 2000 Sep; 165:255-268.This article gives an overview of related UNESCO activities over the past 50 years. Numerous UNESCO publications, results of various conferences, symposia and experts meetings serve to remind us of the important role that international migration has played in the process of social transformations throughout the world. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., Population Reference Bureau [PRB], 2003 Apr.  p.This policy brief presents two rationales for investing in neonatal health services: investing in newborn health and survival helps achieve health and development goals, and honoring newborns' human rights.
American Journal of Public Health. 1999 Mar; 89(3):399-407.Despite conceptual advances that incorporate broad structural approaches, international agencies embrace a persistent reliance on "reductionist reproductive terms" to define women's health. This article locates the origins of this phenomenon in the policies and activities of the Rockefeller Foundation's (RF) public health program in Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s. After an introduction, the article describes the Mexican work of the RF and how it "stumbled upon" gender health differentials during a hookworm eradication campaign and then furthered gender stereotypes in its health education materials. The article continues with a consideration of the RF's eventual dual targeting of women as patients and as public health workers (nurses) during the effort to create permanent health units and institute a system of nurses who visited homes as proponents of the supremacy of modern medicine. Next, the article describes how the RF further entered women's domain by identifying, monitoring, and training traditional midwives. This targeting of midwives coupled with a total disregard for every aspect of traditional midwifery reflected the RF's policy of blaming midwives for infant mortality while ignoring socioeconomic determinants. The policy also exacerbated the differentials of social class by elevated working- and middle-class nurses and denigrating peasant midwives. The article concludes that the RF's faulty and often ineffectual policies in Mexico created the women's health paradigm based on reproduction that was later intensified by population control efforts and that fails to advance health for all as a matter of equity.
In: Women in the Third World: an encyclopedia of contemporary issues, edited by Nelly P. Stromquist. New York, New York, Garland Publishing, 1998. 477-85. (Garland Reference Library of Social Science Vol. 760)After an introduction that describes the UN Decade for Women (1976-85) as a catalyst to development of the global women's movement, this essay reviews the legal instruments and world conferences that led up to the Decade for Women. Selected conventions of concern to women from 1949 are tabulated to illustrate the number of ratifications received as of September 1993, and eight milestones in the UN effort to advance women are listed. The discussion then focuses on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, on the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies, and on the Fourth World Conference on Women and its Platform for Action. The next section of the essay describes the feminist networking that has flourished since the first women's conference in 1975 and received enough encouragement at the second conference in 1985 to spawn a global feminist movement. The essay continues with a review of the status of academic research into gender issues and of shifting policy in the UN system and other donor agencies as a result of adoption of a "Women in Development" approach. The essay then reviews the UN's 1994 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development to illuminate the role of women in a changing global economy and covers UN publications that seek to explicate women's positions in various regions in the 1990s. The essay concludes that the UN Decade for Women helped create common ground between activists in the North and the South, fostered networking, legitimized activities to promote women's rights, and inspired the UN to take action to advance women within its system.
New York, New York, United Nations, Dept. of Public Information, 1996. , 845 p. (United Nations Blue Book Series, Vol. 6)The first section of this book traces the history of the UN's efforts to improve the status of women. An overview is presented in the first part, and part 2 chronicles the UN's efforts to secure the legal foundations of women's rights during the period 1945-62. Part 3 traces the stage of the UN's work (1963-75) that began with recognition of the indispensable role of women in development and of the gulf between the existence of women's legal rights and women's ability to exercise these rights. Part 4 follows developments through the UN Decade for Women (1976-85), and part 5 describes actions taken from 1986-96 to respond to the failure of the Decade for Women to achieve improvements in the priority areas of employment, health, and education. Part 6 concludes this section by remarking on the strategies and issues that will dominate the UN's next 50 years of work in improving women's status and eliminating gender-based discrimination and by noting that the Platform for Action from the 1996 Fourth World Conference on Women serves as a tool in the empowerment of women but that the formal recognition of women's rights has yet to lead to a practical improvement in their status. The remainder of the book contains 1) a chronology of events, 2) a chronology of UN conferences and seminars, and 3) a selection of documents on women published by the UN that form a comprehensive record of UN involvement in the campaign to promote women's rights, including the complete texts of the major conventions, treaties, and declarations.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1995. xvi, 131 p.Gender-based obstacles to effective participation in development must be overcome in order to reduce poverty, increase productivity and economic efficiency, decrease population growth, and preserve the environment. This report discusses the World Bank's record in incorporating gender issues into the operations which it supports. After extended debate and experimentation, many of the prerequisites for the full integration of gender issues in Bank lending are now in place, with a formal policy directive issued in 1994 providing a solid framework for the Bank's gender initiatives. There have been ongoing efforts to cover gender in discussions of country strategies, to identify relevant gender issues at the earliest phase of project identification, and to provide task managers with technical support and training adapted to regional concerns. Moreover, projects now focus upon women's productive as well as reproductive roles, and seek new opportunities to enhance women's access to employment and vital services. Significant progress has therefore been made, but a gap nonetheless remains between objectives and achievements. The financial and intellectual commitment to gender issues has been mixed within the Bank, while women's roles in borrower countries are often culturally defined and changes undertaken cautiously.