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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    Beijing plus ten: an ambivalent record on gender justice.

    Molyneux M; Razavi S

    Development and Change. 2005; 36(6):983-1010.

    The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women (the 'Beijing Conference') was a landmark in policy terms, setting a global policy framework to advance gender equality. Ten years after Beijing, in March 2005, the UN's Commission on the Status of Women presided over an intergovernmental meeting in New York to review the progress achieved on the commitments made in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This 'Plus 10' event was decidedly low key. Its aim was not agenda setting but agenda confirming; not policy formulation but policy affirmation. Whether it proves to be part of an ongoing worldwide movement in support of gender equality, or whether it marks the decline of that process, is a question that many in international women's movements are asking. This article, drawing on research undertaken for the UNRISD report, Gender Equality: Striving for Justice in an Unequal World, reflects on the ambivalent record of progress achieved by women over the last decades and considers how the policy environment has changed over the period since the high point of global women's movements. It examines how the changing international policy and political climate over this period has given rise to new issues and challenges for those active in global women's movements. (author's)
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  2. 2

    Engendering development? Women in Development (WID) in international development regimes.

    Chowdhry G

    In: Feminism / postmodernism / development, edited by Marianne H. Marchand and Jane L. Parpart. London, England, Routledge, 1995. 26-41.

    This chapter will demonstrate that the so-called WID regime, as implemented by international development agencies, has its origin in two distinct yet overlapping strands of modernist discourse: the colonial discourse and the liberal discourse on markets. The colonial discourse based on the economic, political, social and cultural privileging of European peoples, homogenizes and essentializes the Third World and Third World women. The liberal discourse on markets, based on a negative view of freedom, promotes free markets, voluntary choices and individualism. Its epistemological premises and practical implementations disempower Third World nations in the international political economy. Moreover, as it intersects with colonial discourse, liberal discourse paradoxically tends to disempower poor Third World women (despite its stated objective of helping women to "develop"). In this chapter I argue that this disempowerment of Third World women is exemplified and embodied by the WID regime, because it is situated at the intersection of these two (modernist) discourses. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    The conservative and progressive divide at Beijing Plus Five.

    Religion Counts

    Conscience. 2002 Spring; 23(1):15-7, 42.

    During the UN Beijing Plus 5 conference in March 2000, both Catholics and Muslims were well represented at the proceedings. The progressive network included both religious and secular nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including: the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network, the Girls' Power Initiative of Nigeria, Catholics for a Free Choice, the Albanian Family Planning Association, and the Ecumenical Women 2000+. On the other hand, the conservative network consisted of both religious and secular NGOs, including: the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, the World Family Policy Forum at Brigham Young University, the National Right to Life Committee, Concerned Women for America, the National Institute of Womanhood, Global Helping Advance Women and Children, and United Families International. It is noted that tensions between the conservative and progressive camps at the UN are always palpable and each camp regularly monitors the other's activities. A propensity on both sides to objectify the moral status of their opponents was also detected.
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  4. 4
    Peer Reviewed

    Medicalization and its discontents.

    Goodman MJ; Goodman LE

    Social Science and Medicine. 1987; 25(6):733-40.

    In 1978 leaders from 134 governments and 67 UN bodies proclaimed their union of purpose to bring Health For All by 2000. They described health in terms of access to primary health care, not the freedom of disease. The plan they developed was designed to bring all health care providers together, be they medical doctors (MDs) from Western medical schools herbalists, shamans or barefoot doctors. The plan was to create a system of referrals where people would initially turn to their traditional healers for help and then be moved along the system as the complexity of the condition exceeded the ability of attending healer. However, the system failed because of 3 major factors: political resistance, professional and economic inertia, and chauvinism and emulousness called the Jazz Factor. Instead of acting like a funnel to move people along the system from the less advanced to the more advanced healers, it acted like a filter. The political resistance is clearly seen when a careful examination of the AIDS virus is made. Many African nations refused to acknowledge that AIDS was even in their countries. Thailand was so fearful of losing tourism dollars that it covered up the fact that many of their prostitutes are infected. US servicemen are tested and discharged if they are found to be infected. In many US states people's rights to privacy hamper the control of the spread of AIDS. The sexual revolution is founded on liberal principles of freedom. The result is the right of individuals to spread the disease if they so choose. Economics plays its role when we see the linking of profit motive and the public interest in the health care area. The Jazz Factor refers to the practice of considering prestige over practicality. Oral rehydration therapy is an excellent example of this. Today dehydration caused by diarrhea is the single biggest cause of death among children. Yet the cure is so simple, so easy, and so inexpensive that it is within the reach of almost every family on earth. 1 reason given for this fact that there is no profit to be made from ORT. Today health care professionals still prescribe US$400 million worth of antidiarrheal drugs.
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