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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)
In: Preserving the global environment: the challenge of shared leadership, edited by Jessica T. Mathews. New York, New York/London, England, W. W. Norton, 1991. 39-77.The thesis that human population growth will eventually destroy the equilibrium of the world ecosystem, because environmental strain is a nonlinear effect of the linear growth, is embellished with discussions of technology and resulting pollution, population dynamics, birth and death rates, effects of expanded education, causes of urbanization, time constraints and destabilizing effects of partial development and the debt crisis. It is suggested that the terms renewable and nonrenewable resources are paradoxical, since the nonrenewable resoureces such as minerals will always exist, while renewable ecosystems and species are limited. The competitive economy actually accelerates destruction of biological resoureces because it overvalues rare species when they have crossed the equilibrium threshold and are in decline. Technological outputs are proportional to population numbers: therefore adverse effects of population should be considered in billions, not percent increase even though it is declining. Even the United Nations does not have predictions of the effects of added billions, taking into account improved survival and decreased infant mortality. Rapid urbanization of developing countries and their debt crisis have resulted from political necessity from the point of view of governments in power, rather than mere demographics. Recommendations are suggested for U.S. policy based on these points such as enlightened political leadership, foreign aid, and scientific investment with the health of the world ecosystem in mind rather than spectacle and local political ideology.
ISSUES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. 1988 Winter; 4(2):43-8.Without a medical miracle, it seems inevitable that the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pandemic will become not only the most serious public health problem of this generation but a dominating issue in 3rd world development. As a present-day killer, AIDS in developing countries is insignificant compared to malaria, tuberculosis, or infant diarrhea, but this number is misleading in 3 ways. First, it fails to reflect the per capita rate of AIDS cases. On this basis, Bermuda, French Guyana, and the Bahamas have much higher rates than the US. Second, there is extensive underreporting of AIDS cases in most developing nations. Finally, the number of AIDS cases indicates where the epidemic was 5-7 years ago, when these people became infected. Any such projections of the growth of 3rd world AIDS epidemics are at this time based on epidemiologic data from the industrialized rations of the north and on the assumption that the virus acts similarly in the south as it does in the US and Europe. Yet, 3rd world conditions differ. Sexually transmitted diseases usually are more prevalent, and people have a different burden of other diseases and of other stresses to the immune system. In Africa, AIDS already is heavily affecting the mainstream population in some nations. Some regions will approach net population declines over the next decade. How far their populations eventually could decline because of AIDS is unclear and will depend crucially on countermeasures taken or not taken over the next 1-2 years. In purely economic terms, AIDS will affect the direct costs of health care, expenses which are unrealistic for most 3rd world countries. Further, the vast majority of deaths from AIDS in developing countries will occur among those in the sexually active age groups -- the wage earners and food producers. Deaths in this age group also will reduce the labor available for farming and industry. AIDS epidemics also may have significant effects on foreign investment in the 3rd world as well as negative effects on tourism. The global underclass will be disproportionately affected by AIDS as the blacks and Hispanics already are in New York and Miami. Thus far, the reaction of donor countries to the World Health Organization's (WHO) appeal for funds to fight the battle against AIDS has been excellent. The global strategy of WHO places priority on national campaigns, but none of the national campaigns will be effective unless linked to similar actions in other nations to form a vigorous international program. The US has a special responsibility to provide international leadership on AIDS. The US is the world leader in AIDS research and has the bulk of the virus research capacity. Further, no country can come close to matching US experience in dealing with AIDS through "safe sex" education campaigns.
Socio-economic development and fertility decline in Costa Rica. Background paper prepared for the project on socio-economic development and fertility decline.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1985. 118 p. (ST/ESA/SER.R/55)This summary of information on the development process in Costa Rica and its relation to fertility from 1950-70 is a revision of a study prepared for the Workshop on Socioeconomic Development and Fertility Decline held in Costa Rica in April 1982 as part of a UN comparative study of 5 developing countries. The report contains chapters on background information on fertility and the family, historical facts, and political organization of Costa Rica; the development strategy and its consequences vis a vis the composition of the gross domestic product, balance of trade, investment trends, the structure of the labor force, educational levels, and income; the allocation of public resources in public employment, public investment, credit, public expenditures, and the impact of resource allocation policies; changes in land tenure patterns; cultural factors affecting fertility, including education, women and their family roles, behavior in the home, women and politics, work and social security, and race and religion; changes in demographic variables, including nuptiality patterns, marital fertility, and natural fertility and birth control; characteristics and determining factors of the decline in fertility, including levels and trends, decline by age group, decline in terms of birth order, differences among population groups, how fertility declined, and history and role of family planning programs; and a discussion of the modernization process in Costa Rica and the relationship between demographic and socioeconomic variables. Beginning with the 1948 civil war, Costa Rica underwent drastic changes which were still reflected in national life as late as 1970. The industrial sector and the government bureaucracy have become decisive forces in development and the government has become the major employer. The state plays a key role in economic life, and state participation is a determining factor in extending medical and educational resources in the social field. The economically active population declined from 64% in 1960 to 55% in 1975 due to urbanization and migration from rural to urban areas, but there was an increase in economic participation of women, especially in urban areas. Increased educational level of the population in general and women in particular created changes in traditional attitudes and behavior. Although there is no specific explanation of why Costa Rica's fertility decline occurred, some observations about its determining factors and mechanisms can be made: the considerable economic development of the 1950s and 1960s brought about a rapid rise in per capita income and changes in the structure of production as well as substantial social development, increased opportunities for self-improvement for some social groups, and a rise in expectations. The size of the family became an aspect of conflict between rising expectations and increasing expenses. The National Family Planning Program helped accelerate the fertility decline.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. ix, 534 p. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements ST/ESA/SER.A/90)Contained in this volume are the report (Part I) and the selected papers (Part II) of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment and Development which review past trends and their likely future course in each of the 4 areas, taking into account not only evolving concepts but also the need to consider population, resources, environment and development as a unified structure. Trends noted in the population factor include world population growth and the differences between rates in the developed and developing countries; the decline in the proportion of the population who are very young and the concomitant increase in the average age of the population. Discussed within the resource factor are the labor force, the problem of increasing capital shortage, expenditures on armaments, trends in the supply and productivity of arable land, erosion and degradation of topsoil and energy sources. Many of the problems identified overlap with the environment factor, which centers on the problem of pollution. The group on the development factor was influenced by a pervasiv sense of "crisis" in current economic trends. Concern was also expressed regarding the qualitative aspects of current development trends, defined as the perverse effects of having adopted inappropriate styles of development. Part II begins with a general overview of recent levels and trends in the 4 areas along with the concepts of carrying capacity and optimum population. Other papers discuss the impact of trends in resources, environment and development on demographic prospects; long-term effects of global population growth on the international system; economic considerations in the choice of alternative paths to a stationary population and the need for integration of demographic factors in development planning. The various papers on the resources and environment factor focus on resources as a barrier to population growth; the effects of population growth on renewable resources; food production and population growth in Africa; the frailty of the balance between the 4 areas and the need for a holistic approach on a scale useful for regional planning. Also addressed are: social development; population and international economic relations; development, lifestyles, population and environment in Latin America; issues of population growth, inequality and poverty; health, population and development trends; education requirements and trends in female literacy; the challenge posed by the aging of populations; and population and development in the ECE region.
[National Conference on Population, Resources, Environment, and Development] Reunion Nacional sobre Poblacion, Recursos, Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo
Mexico City, Mexico, Mexico. Consejo Nacional de Poblacion [CONAPO], 1984. 120 p.Opening remarks, presentations, comments, and conclusions are presented from the Mexican National Conference on Population, Resources, Environment, and Development, the last of a series of conferences held in preparation for the 1984 World Population Conference. The 3 papers, each with a commentary, concerned questions regarding the balance between population, resources, the environment, and development to be addressed by the World Population Conference; population, resources, and environment; and population and development. A list of comments of participants and the closing remarks are also included. Several concluding statements summarized the main points of the debate: 1) Relationships between demographic variables and economic and social processes are highly complex and the World Population Conference should take such complexities into account. 2) Reproductive and migratory behavior of the population is just 1 element influencing and being influenced by social and economic development. The decreasing rate of population growth alone cannot lead to development. 3) The quest for a better balance between resource utilization and environmental conservation, with the resulting improvement in living standards, requires immediate and realistic measures on the part of the State and the participation of the people not merely as objects but also as active subjects through their community organizations. 4) The regional dimension must be included in the analysis of disequilibrium between population and development, at both national and international levels, in order to provide a better comprehension of phenomena such as migration, urbanization, production and distribution of food, environmental deterioration, ant the qualitative development of the population. 5) Better conceptual, analytical, informative, and planning instruments must be developed regarding the themes of population and development. In particular, instruments for the medium- and longterm should be developed, since the time frame of population processes exceeds the usual programming limits. 6) Questions suitable for a forum such as the World Population Conference must be distinguished from those relating to national population policy. Nevertheless, common principles exist, such as full respect for human rights, national sovereignty, and the fundamental objectives of population policy, which should be to contribute to elevating the level and quality of life of human beings.