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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)
[Breastfeeding: a right of the mother and child] Aleitamento materno: um direito da mae e da crianca.
REVISTA PAULISTA DE MEDICINA. 1987 Mar-Apr; 105(2):103-7.The laws concerning the protection of working women who nurse and the outcome of the breast feeding program at the state university of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, are discussed. The International Labor Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919 with the objective of improving the working conditions and lives of workers worldwide. At a 1952 convention, the right of women to interrupt work to nurse was accepted. In 1975, the declaration on the equal opportunity and treatment of working women was passed. ILO's recommendation was adopted in 30 countries which allowed working woman to nurse for 30 minutes or more. In Italy and Bulgaria, 60 minutes is assigned for nursing. A 1923 Brazilian law decreed that nurseries must be near the work place where mothers could nurse regularly. ILO's 1952 convention was ratified in 1966 in Brazil, and, in 1986, a paid nursery scheme was passed. UNICAMP has been dealing with nursing programs since 1975, focusing on education, breastfeeding techniques, presentations, and group discussions. The mothers were monitored until weaning or until the child reached 9 months of age. The program had a higher impact among women >25 and married, than among women >30 with less education. In a follow-up program, 100 women 7 months pregnant received prenatal assistance and were asked to fill out a questionnaire. 76 complied: 28 nursed their present child but not the previous one, and 22 nursed their first child (50% for less than 6 months). A 1977 survey in the city of Paulinia on breast feeding duration of children up to 2 years of age showed that 12.1% of 610 were never nursed. 57% were exclusively breast fed in the first month, but only 18% were nursed by the 6th month. In 1982, an infant center was inaugurated by UNICAMP where a child could nurse 5 times a day up to 6 months of age. In the first 4 years, 334 children attended and were nursed for 12 months, although 8.8 months was the expected duration, and the previous child had been nursed for only 6 months.
CHILDREN IN FOCUS. 1992 Jan-Mar; 4(1):8.Working class women have always been creative in developing methods of surviving when times get bad. Examples include: earning income from informal sector work, trading in foods stuffs and manufactured items, domestic work. They also alter their consumption patterns by cutting purchases and making do with less, and by planting kitchen gardens. Others relay on remittances from relatives who have migrated to developed nations. Most use multiple strategies to secure the well being of their children and family. These flexible behavior patterns are among the strengths of Caribbean working class women that allow them to deal the harsh realities of poverty. However these strengths have been turned around and used against these women by many governmental and international agencies. The fact that they are able to cope is used to support programs that only perpetuate the situation rather than helping these women to change their lives. These women are caught in a cycle of deprivation, powerlessness, acceptance of hardship, survival strategies, continuing exploitation and continuing deprivation. Because of the actions of such agencies there are 3 basic strategies that should be followed: (1) those designed to ensure day to day maintenance, (2) those designed to determine the elements necessary for longer term solutions, (3) those that challenge negative macroeconomic policies. Strategies must also be distinguished based on those that meet practical gender needs, and those that address strategic gender interests. The importance of this distinction can be seen in the austerity measures which have been central features of most adjustment policies. Policies must be formed in a holistic context that revolve around macro economic issues.
FRONT LINES. 1989 Dec; 6, 13.Projects supported by the Directorate for Population (S&T/POP) of the U.S. Agency for International Development and aimed at increasing for-profit private sector involvement in providing family planning services and products are described. Making products commercially available through social-marketing partnerships with the commercial sector, USAID has saved $1.1 million in commodity costs from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Peru. Active private sector involvement benefits companies, consumers, and donors through increased corporate profits, healthier employees, improved consumer access at lower cost, and the possibility of sustained family planning programs. Moreover, private, for-profit companies will be able to meet service demands over the next 20 years where traditional government and donor agency sources would fail. Using employee surveys and cost-benefit analyses to demonstrate expected financial and health benefits for businesses and work forces, S&T/POP's Technical Information on Population for the Private Sector (TIPPS) project encourages private companies in developing countries to invest in family planning and maternal/child health care for their employees. 36 companies in 9 countries have responded thus far, which examples provided from Peru and Zimbabwe. The Enterprise program's objectives are also to increase the involvement of for-profit companies in delivering family planning services, and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of private volunteer organizations in providing services. Projects have been started with mines, factories, banks, insurance companies, and parastatals in 27 countries, with examples cited from Ghana and Indonesia. Finally, the Social Marketing for Change project (SOMARC) builds demand and distributes low-cost contraceptives through commercial channels especially to low-income audiences. Partnerships have been initiated with the private sector in 17 developing countries, with examples provided from the Dominican Republic, Liberia and Ecuador. These projects have increased private sector involvement in family planning, thereby promoting service expansion at lower public sector cost.
Geneva, Switzerland, ILO, 1986 Jan. 83 p.The educational activities of the International Labor Organization's (ILO) Population and Labor Policies Program was launched in the early 1970s. It's spectrum includes: promotion of information and education activities devoted to population and family planning questions at various levels, particularly by means of workers' education, labor welfare, and cooperative and rural institutions' programs; policy- oriented research on the demographic aspects of measures of social policy in certain fields, such as employment and social security; and efforts to stimulate participation by social security and enterprise- level medical services in the promotion of family planning. At the outset, the ILO explored the demand for and feasibility of educational activities in selected countries. Slowly, the concept of an ILO population-oriented program developed, and regional labor and population teams were established. At the next stage, regional advisers extended their activities to the national level. Project descriptions are included for the countries of India, Jordan, Kiribati, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Nepal, Congo, Zambia, and the Philippines.
Women At Work. 1984; (2):1-71.This document describes the current status of maternity protection legislation in developed and developing countries and is based primarily on the findings of the International Labor Organization's (ILO's) global assessment of laws and regulations concerning working women before and after pregnancy. The global survey collected information from 18 Asian and Pacific countries, 36 African nations, 28 North and South American countries, 14 Middle Eastern countries, 19 European market economy countries, and 11 European socialist countries. Articles in 2 ILO conventions provide standards for maternity protection. According to the operative clauses of these conventions working women are entitled to 1) 12 weeks of maternity leave, 2) cash benefits during maternity leaves, 3) nursing breaks during the work day, and 4) protection against dismissal during maternity. Most countries have some qualifying conditions for granting maternity leaves. These conditions either state that a worker must be employed for a certain period of time or contributed to an insurance plan over a defined period of time before a maternity leave will be granted. About 1/2 of the countries in the Asia and Pacific region, the Americas, Africa, and in the Europe market economy group provide maternity leaves of 12 or more weeks. In all European socialist countries, women are entitled to at least 12 weeks maternity leave and in many leaves are considerably longer than 12 months. In the Middle East all but 3 countries provide leaves of less than 12 weeks. Most countries which provide maternity leaves also provide cash benefits, which are usually equivalent to 50%-100% of the worker's wages, and job protection during maternity leaves. Some countries extend job protection beyond the maternity leave. For example, in Czechoslovakia women receive job protection during pregnancy and for 3 years following the birth, if the woman is caring for the child. Nursing breaks are allowed in 5 of the Asian and Pacific countries, 30 of African countries, 18 of the countries in the Americas, 9 of the Middle East countries, 16 of European market economy countries, and in all of the European socialist countries. Several new trends in maternity protection were observed in the survey. A number of countries grant child rearing leaves following maternity leaves. In some countries these leaves can be granted to either the husband or the wife. Some countries have regulations which allow parents to work part time while rearing their children and some permit parents to take time off to care for sick children. In most of the countries, the maternity protection laws and regulations are applied to government workers and in many countries they are also applied to workers in the industrial sector. A list of the countries which have ratified the articles in the ILO convenants concerning maternity benefits is included.
New York, Foreign Policy Association, 1980 Feb. 64 p. (Headline Series 248)This essay concerns the place of women in the modern world from both an historical and contemporary perspective. Beginning in the 1970s attention was directed towards the importance of women in the social, economic, and political development of nations. Through ancient and medieval times, several alternatives to traditional roles were chosen by women: celibacy, urban craft communes, and hermits. In the 19th century, the emergence of new socioeconomic doctrines concerning women occurred. Between 1880-1900 5 transnational women's organizations were born: World Young Women's Christian Association, World Women's Christian Temperance Union, International Council of Nurses, General Federation of Women's Clubs, and the Inter Council of Women. In England the 1st appeal for votes for women was published in 1825; in the U.S. the women's suffrage movement began in 1848. By 1965, the International Cooperation Year was organized by the United Nations. In 1975 the United Nations Decade for Women was approved (1975-85). Progress made by women up to the 1980s includes: 1) a voluntary fund for the United Nations Decade for Women ($9 million in contributions), 2) establishment of an International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of women in the Dominican Republic, 3) an international convention to outlaw discrimination, 4) increasing aid to women in developing countries, and 5) increasing participation of women in the United Nation's international foreign ministries. Although full statistical documentation of women's status in the world are lacking, several calculations indicate that in 1978, 1/3 of the world's work force were women, women earn less than men, and women's political participation is greater in developing countries than in developed countries. Problems will continue to exist in the future. The women's work force in all developed countries was 42% of the world total in 1950. By 1975 it had fallen to 36% and is expected to shrink to less than 30% by year 2000. American women are no model for emulation by the rest of the world. Women are also paid less now in comparison to the past.