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Plan of action for the eradication of harmful traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa.
[Unpublished] 1987. 14 p.The traditional and harmful practices such as early marriage and pregnancy, female circumcision, nutritional taboos, inadequate child spacing, and unprotected delivery continue to be the reality for women in many African nations. These harmful traditional practices frequently result in permanent physical, psychological, and emotional changes for women, at times even death, yet little progress has been realized in abolishing these practices. At the Regional Seminar of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, held in Ethiopia during April 1987, guidelines were drawn by which national governments and local bodies along with international and regional organizations might take action to protect women from these unnecessary hazardous traditional practices. These guidelines constitute this "Plan of Action for the Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa." The plan should be implemented within a decade. These guidelines include both shortterm and longterm strategies. Actions to be taken in terms of the organizational machinery are outlined, covering both the national and regional levels and including special support and the use of the mass media. Guidelines are included for action to be taken in regard to childhood marriage and early pregnancy. These cover the areas of education -- both formal and nonformal -- measures to improve socioeconomic status and health, and enacting laws against childhood marriage and rape. In the area of female circumcision, the short term goal is to create awareness of the adverse medical, psychological, social and economic implications of female circumcision. The time frame for this goal is 24 months. The longterm goal is to eradicate female circumcision by 2000 and to restore dignity and respect to women and to raise their status in society. Also outlined are actions to be taken in terms of food prohibitions which affect mostly women and children, child spacing and delivery practices, and legislative and administrative measures. Women in the African region have a critical role to play both in the development of their countries and in the solution of problems arising from the practice of harmful traditions.
UNESCO/IPDC Regional Seminar on the Media and the African Family, Livingstone, Zambia, 6-10 January 1986. Report.
[Unpublished] 1986 Jan. v, 63 p.A seminar was planned and conducted by UNESCO's Population Division during January 1986 to promote increased media attention to issues which affect family stability and welfare. Especially important are the social, economic, and health problems created by high rates of population growth, urbanization, and migration. The seminar intended to give participants an opportunity to: examine the changing characteristics and emergin problems of the African family; review and appraise both past and current efforts on the part of the media to promote understanding of the interrelationships between socioeconomic conditions and family welfare, composition, stability, and size; and develop plans to increase the involvement and effectiveness of the media in promoting understanding of these interrelationships and in enabling families to make decisions and take action to enhance their welfare and stability. This report of the seminar is presented in 2 sections. The 1st section presents the participants' review of the changing nature of the African family over recent decades and the socioeconomic and sociocultural problems which have emerged as a consequence of these changes. Additionally, the 1st section reviews the extent to which communication systems in the region have tried to deal with the population related issues which affect family welfare. A "Communication Plan of Action" is proposed by the participants as a logical outcome of their 2 analyses and as a synthesis of their recommendations for the manner in which communication systems in the region must develop in order to meet ongoing and future population-family life changes. The Plan of Action identifies the following strategies as necessary to realize the increased involvement of the media in family issues and problems: institutionalizing population family life content within the curricula of media training institutions within the region; intensifying preservice and inservice training of media personnel to enable them to deal effectively with the demographic, social, and economic issues which impinge upon family welfare; highlighting population family life communication matters; ensuring that research on population family life issues be widely disseminated to media personnel and media based organizations; sensitizing political and administrative decisionmakers to population family life issues so that media communication can be supported and opportunities for media coverage can be extended; emphasizing in national development plans the importance of the media in generating public awareness of and response to the constraints placed upon national development and improved family welfare by rapid population growth and large-scale urban migration; and encouraging the involvement of community organizations in media programs. The 2nd section of the report includes the participants examination of the communication planning process.