Your search found 27 Results

  1. 1

    Talking points.

    de La Sabliere JM

    [Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 4 p.

    Unfortunately, this is extremely well documented in countries in conflict. Many of the reports submitted to the Security Council include mention of the use of rape as a weapon of war. Recently, a report of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) on the situation of human rights in Ituri provided information on this problem which is as specific as it is frightening. But, paradoxically, in countries which are not in conflict, the issue of violence against women is often neglected, where it is not concealed. But the private sphere cannot be an area where rights do not apply. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    Adolescent pregnancy -- unmet needs and undone deeds. A review of the literature and programmes.

    Neelofur-Khan D

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2007. [109] p. (WHO Discussion Papers on Adolescence; Issues in Adolescent Health and Development)

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has been contributing to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by according priority attention to issues pertaining to the management of adolescent pregnancy. Three of the aims of the MDGs - empowerment of women, promotion of maternal health, and reduction of child mortality - embody WHO's key priorities and its policy framework for poverty reduction. The UN Special Session on Children has focused on some of the key issues affecting adolescents' rights, including early marriage, access to sexual and reproductive health services, and care for pregnant adolescents. This review of the literature was conducted to identify (1) the major factors affecting the pregnancy outcome among adolescents, related to their physical immaturity and inappropriate or inadequate healthcare-seeking behaviour, and (2) the socioeconomic and political barriers that influence their access to health-care services and information. The review also presents programmatic evidence of feasible measures that can be taken at the household, community and national levels to improve pregnancy outcomes among adolescents. (excerpt)
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    Women's rights in the Universal Declaration.

    Morsink J

    Human Rights Quarterly. 1991 May; 13(2):229-256.

    The Charter of the United Nations forbids discrimination on the basis of "race, sex, language or religion." Some of the delegations involved in drafting the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights felt that this short list of four nondiscrimination items was enough and should be repeated in the Declaration. Others wanted to be more exhaustive. The matter was referred to the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities. This commission recommended that the article in the Declaration state that "[e]veryone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind such as race, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, property status, or national or social origin." Everything after "religion" was added to the Charter list. A few objections were raised, but nothing was deleted from the list. Instead, the two items of "color" and "birth" were added to the Sub-Commission's recommendation. Article 2 of the Declaration is thus an expansion of the Charter's mandate that the new world organization promote human rights for all without discrimination. This theme of nondiscrimination runs through all the deliberations about the Declaration, and whatever disagreements there were about the various items on the list were minor. There was complete agreement that the article on nondiscrimination was a keystone of the Declaration and a gateway to its universality. If we take away someone's race, sex, and opinions on various subjects, all information about his or her background, about birth and present economic status, what we have left is just a human being, one without frills. And the Declaration says that the human rights it proclaims belong to these kinds of stripped-down people, that is, to everyone, without exception. As Mr. Heywood, the Australian representative, said, "logically, discrimination was prohibited by the use in each article of the phrase 'every person' or 'everyone.'" That is why the prohibition against discrimination is not repeated- -as it well might have been--with each article, but is stated at the beginning and made applicable to "all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration." Given this opening prohibition against discrimination, there is, strictly speaking, no need for repetition. But that does not mean that the temptation was not there, especially in the case of sex-based discrimination. Nor does it mean that the final product--a litany of the words "everyone" and "no one"--was arrived at without struggle. For there was a struggle, especially in the case of women's rights. (excerpt)
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  4. 4
    Peer Reviewed

    Universal human rights: the contribution of Muslim states.

    Waltz S

    Human Rights Quarterly. 2004; 26:799-844.

    It is often supposed that international human rights standards were negotiated without active participation by Middle Eastern and Muslim states. That was not the case. United Nations records document the contributions of Arab and Muslim diplomats from 1946–1966. Diplomats from the Islamic world did not always agree with each other, but their various contributions resulted in the assertion of a right to self-determination, the most comprehensive statement of universality, culturally sensitive language about religious beliefs, and a separate article promoting gender equality. Initially they proposed robust mechanisms for implementation, and they actively opposed the isolation of socioeconomic rights into a separate covenant. Not all of their efforts were successful, and not all of their positions were liberal. While their role as participants and promoters of human rights should not be exaggerated, neither should it be discounted. (author's)
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  5. 5

    Commitments: youth reproductive health, the World Bank, and the Millennium Development Goals.

    Zwicker C; Ringheim K

    Washington, D.C., Global Health Council, 2004. 30 p.

    This report has two objectives. The first is to further the case for youth reproductive health as essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and reducing poverty. The second is to underscore the importance of the World Bank’s role to promote responsible progress toward the goals among its client countries, and to provide leadership on behalf of youth in this effort. This report draws on Bank documents and interviews with Bank staff, as well as from the youth reproductive health and education literature. In 2000, a global contract was struck between rich and poor countries to eliminate extreme poverty and many of the factors associated with it. In the poorest countries, 30 to 40 percent of the entire population are youth between the ages of 10 and 24. One in four youth lives on less than US$1 per day. Today’s youth become – in one short decade – tomorrow’s parents, leaders, labor force and armies. But many will not survive to adulthood due to the devastation caused by HIV/AIDS, consequences of early pregnancy, and unsafe abortion. And far more will not thrive due to low levels of education, poor livelihood skills, and gender inequities. These factors increase the vulnerability of youth to reproductive health problems, and together they will perpetuate the poverty of the next generation. The World Bank embraced the achievement of the MDGs as a corporate priority. As the world’s largest lender for development, the Bank’s leadership in helping countries set development priorities according to the MDGs and in identifying the resources necessary to meet the targets is essential. If the goals are to be more than rhetoric, vast new financial resources must be raised from the Bank’s donor countries, most notably from the United States. This report builds the case that improving the reproductive health of youth will facilitate the achievement of all eight MDGs. For each youth reproductive health issue, a link is made between the issue and the particular goal or goals affected by it. The report notes that the empirical evidence is often weak. If the self-perpetuating cycle of poverty and disease is to be broken, the causal links among reproductive health, poor education and lack of livelihoods must be made more explicit. The Bank must invest to ensure that its client countries have the necessary information, tools, technical expertise and models to better understand their poverty situations and where it is most productive to invest. (excerpt)
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  6. 6

    The 108th Congress: more bad news for women.

    International Women's Health Coalition [IWHC]

    New York, New York, IWHC, [2003]. 10 p.

    The United States Congress is pursuing a number of misguided domestic and international policies that have profound—and profoundly counterproductive–impacts on women in the United States and around the world. Each individual action deserves attention; taken together they paint a chilling picture of Congress' willingness to sacrifice women and girls to gain political favor with those on the far right. In tandem with the Bush administration, the Republican-dominated 108th Congress is chipping away at women’s rights and health both at home and abroad. The International Women’s Health Coalition has compiled some of its most egregious actions, as a complement to our ongoing monitoring of the Bush administration (see the Bush’s Other War factsheet at (excerpt)
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  7. 7

    International legal instruments relevant to women.

    United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa. African Centre for Women

    [Addis Ababa, Ethiopia], Economic Commission for Africa, 1995. [3], 69 p. (E/ECA/ACW/ILI/4(a)/94)

    In order to increase awareness of the legal rights of women and existing legal instruments protecting women, this document reprints the major international human rights conventions on women and a list of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions concerning women workers. This document was created in the belief that women must be aware of their rights in order to understand and/or claim them and that the enhancement of legal literacy will promote women's rights as well as an understanding of how the law can be used as a tool for social change. The reprinted documents are 1) the UN Convention on the Political Rights of Women (with annexes listing the countries party to the convention, reservations, and countries where women could vote equally as of 1955); 2) the 1957 UN Convention on the Nationality of Married Women; 3) the 1964 UN Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage, and Registration of Marriages; 4) Chapter 24 of Agenda 21 (Global Action for Women Towards Sustainable and Equitable Development Programme Area); 5) the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; 6) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; 7) a list of nine ILO Conventions covering Women Workers; and 8) the Charter of Ratification of Conventions, which is a chart illustrating the ratification status of each convention by country.
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  8. 8

    Ato del Avellanal v. Peru, 28 October 1988.

    United Nations. Human Rights Committee


    The plaintiff challenged Article 168 of the Peruvian Civil Code, which provides that, when a woman is married, only the husband is entitled to represent matrimonial property before a court. On the basis of this Article, the plaintiff had lost a suit over back rent due from tenants of buildings that she owned. The Human Rights Committee concluded that Article 168 violated Article 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (equal right of men and women to enjoyment of rights guaranteed by the ICCPR; Article 14(1) (equality before courts); and Article 26 (equality before the law and equal protection of the law). It called on the Peruvian Government to remedy these violations. (full text)
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  9. 9

    Plan of action for the eradication of harmful traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa.

    Inter-African Committee [IAC]

    [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.
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  10. 10

    Early marriage.

    International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF]

    London, England, IPPF, 2001 Nov. 51 p.

    Globally, early and forced marriage probably represents the most prevalent form of the sexual abuse and exploitation of girls. Hidden behind the socially sanctioned cloak of marriage, under-age girls are deprived of their personal freedom, forced into non-consensual sex, exploitation of their labor and diminution of their educational development and individual life-choices. Furthermore, they are subject to life-threatening damage to their health by having to go through pregnancy and childbirth before their bodies are sufficiently mature to do so. In many cultures, financial transactions are the basis of the marriage agreement and girls are treated as a commodity item by their own families. In this perspective, the Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls was established. The Forum is a network of organizations mainly based in the UK but with international affiliates, sharing a vision of marriage as a sphere in which women and girls have inalienable rights. In this article, the Forum on Marriage and Rights of Women and Girls presented their recommendations in the international, national and community levels to address the abuse of children's human rights with regard to early marriage.
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  11. 11

    [International] Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [status].

    United Nations

    In: Multilateral treaties, index and current status, Ninth Cumulative Supplement, compiled by M.J. Bowman and D.J. Harris. Nottingham, England, University of Nottingham Treaty Centre, 1992. 181.

    The following countries became parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1989-1991: a) Albania, 4 October 1991; b) Algeria, 12 September 1989 c) Burundi, 9 May 1990; d) Estonia, 21 October 1991; e) Grenada, 6 September 1991; f) Haiti, 6 February 1991; g) Ireland, 8 December 1989, h) Israel, 3 October 1991; i) Lithuania, 20 November 1991; j) Malta, 13 September 1990; k) Nepal, 14 May 1991; l) Republic of Korea, 10 April 1990; m) Somalia, 24 January 1990; and n) Zimbabwe, 13 May 1991. The Covenant contains human rights provisions relating to equality of the sexes, freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary and unlawful interference with the home and family, protection of children and the family, the right to marry and found a family, and equality of spouses within marriages. In addition, the following of the above countries also became parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the same dates: Albania, Estonia, Grenada, Haiti, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, Nepal, and Zimbabwe. This Covenant contains human rights provisions relating to equality of the sexes, equal pay for equal work, maternity benefits, housing, education, health care, and protection of the family, children, and mothers. See Multilateral Treaties, Index and Current Status, p. 181.
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  12. 12

    Convention on Consent to Marriage [Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages]. Status.

    United Nations

    In: Multilateral treaties, index and current status, Tenth Cumulative Supplement, compiled by M.J. Bowman and D.J. Harris. Nottingham, England, University of Nottingham Treaty Centre, 1993. 199.

    On 1 July 1992, Jordan became a party to this Convention. In addition, on 8 October 1991, Croatia succeeded to the Convention. The Convention reaffirms the consensual nature of marriages and requires the parties to establish a minimum age by law and to ensure the registration of marriages. The following countries became parties or succeeded to the Convention on the Nationality of Married Women in 1991-92: a) Croatia, 8 October 1991 (suc.); b) Jordan, 1 July 1992; c) Latvia, 14 April 1992; and d) Slovenia, 25 June 1991 (suc.). The Convention provides for the retention of nationality by women upon marriage or dissolution of marriage or when their husbands change their nationality. It also contains provisions on the naturalization of foreign wives. See Multilateral Treaties, Index and Current Status, 10th Cumulative Suppl., 1993, p. 181.
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  13. 13

    Convention on Consent to Marriage, [Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriage Status].

    United Nations

    In: Multilateral treaties, index and current status, Ninth Cumulative Supplement, compiled by M.J. Bowman and D.J. Harris. Nottingham, England, University of Nottingham Treaty Centre, 1992. 170.

    On 6 June 1991 Mongolia became a party to the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriages and Registration of Marriages. The Convention reaffirms the consensual nature of marriages and requires the parties to establish a minimum age by law and to ensure the registration of marriages. On 14 October 1991, Saint Lucia succeeded to the Convention on the Nationality of Married Women. See Multilateral Treaties, Index and Current Status, p. 155. This Convention provides for the retention of nationality by women upon marriage or dissolution of marriage or when their husband changes his nationality. It also contains provisions on the naturalization of foreign wives.
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  14. 14

    Convention on the Nationality of Married Women.

    United Nations


    The government of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya ratified this UN Convention on the nationality of married women on May 16, 1989.
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  15. 15

    The Kenya Civil Registration Demonstration Project (CRDP): a strategy for a rapidly developing country in Africa.

    Gil B; Ronoh JK

    Nairobi, Kenya, Dept. of the Registrar-General, [1987]. xxiv, 568 p.

    Compulsory registration of births and deaths of all ethnic groups in Kenya began with independence in 1963. Nevertheless only 42% of all expected births and 22% of all expected deaths were being registered by 1979-1980. Recognizing the shortfalls, the Kenyan government began its Civil Registration Demonstration Project (CRDP) with the help of UNFPA in 1981. After the establishment of working committees and tours of targeted areas, the Committee for Improvement of the Registration System (IRS) established the head office in November 1981. It also devised a plan to address the issues of field organization and operations, registration of documents, registration processes, training of CRDP staff and personnel from other ministries, management, evaluation, and statistical data processing. The Committee for Civil Registration Enlightenment Campaign (CREC) set the strategy to secure the cooperation of both adults and primary school children (via its Civil Registration Education Programme) by launching a media campaign and introducing incentives to get people to register births and deaths. To reach all the population, CRDP enlisted the help and cooperation of all ministries. For example, assistant chiefs (employees of the Provincial Administration), village leaders (e.g., village elders and traditional birth attendants), and health personnel (employees of the Ministry of Health) reported and completed registers of birth and death within each smallest administrative unit. They did this along with performing their normal duties. To establish and efficient registration system, staff randomly selected demonstration districts to test the 2 schemes (those of IRS and CREC), and upon successful completion of the experiment, other districts would be added over a 7-10 year period.
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  16. 16

    Neonatal tetanus: strategies for disease control.

    Frank DL

    [Unpublished] 1987 Apr 30. [4], 53 p.

    Neonatal tetanus, caused by the toxin of Clostridium tetani, is transmitted via unclean instruments used to cut the umbilical cord or contaminated dressings applied to the stump. The symptoms are inability to suck, trismus, convulsions, and (in 80-90% of cases) death on the 7th or 8th day. In the US between 1982 and 1984 only 2 cases of neonatal tetanus were reported; in the developing world an estimated 800,000 infants die of neonatal tetanus every year. The survey methodology used to determine the neonatal tetanus death rate was a 2-stage sampling method, known as the Expanded Program on Immunization 30 cluster sampling method, followed by questionnaires. Such surveys contain a certain amount of built-in bias due both to fact that the final selection of households is never completely random and that retrospectively gathered information is subject to recall bias. The surveys indicated that neonatal tetanus incidence was highest in rural areas, especially where animals were present; in the slums of cities; among families with many children; where mothers received no prenatal care; and where birth attendants were untrained. The best preventive strategy against neonatal tetanus is provided through immunization of the mother with tetanus toxoid, since the antibodies cross the placenta and protect the infant through the neonatal period. Unfortunately, the tetanus vaccination program lags at least 30% behind other World Health Organization Expanded Program on Immunization coverage. The World Health Organization recommends an initial immunization with .01 antitoxin International Units per milliliter of serum, a 2nd dose 4 weeks later (at least 2 weeks before delivery) and booster doses on each successive pregnancy up to 5; the 5th booster provides lifetime protection. Immunization should also be carried out among nonpregnant women of childbearing age and children. The World Health Organization has proposed that neonatal tetanus be made a reportable disease, which should be combatted by prenatal immunization of mothers and training of traditional birth attendants. Between 60% and 80% of all births in developing countries are attended by traditional birth attendants, but, except in China, the training of traditional birth attendants has not contributed as much to reduction of neonatal tetanus as has immunization. Alternative strategies for carrying out tetanus immunization programs include integrating them into prenatal clinics, schools, family planning programs, maternal food distribution programs, well-baby care centers, mass campaigns (especially in urban areas), and mobile team outreach strategies in rural areas. Tetanus immunization could also be linked to other Expanded Program on Immunization programs even though these are mainly targeted at children rather than mothers and other women of childbearing age. Indonesia initiated a tetanus immunization program in 1977 and a traditional birth attendant training program with assistance from the UN Childrens Fund in 1978. However, 3 neonatal tetanus surveys, conducted in 19 provinces, the city of Jakarta, and Java, estimated the total number of deaths/year from neonatal tetanus as 71,150--a neonatal tetanus mortality rate of 11/1000. 3 provincial level studies, also using the Expanded Program on Immunization 30 cluster sampling method, in Nusa Tenggara Barat, West Sumatra Province, and Daerah Istemewah Aceh revealed neonatal tetanus mortality rates of 8.3/1000, 18.5/1000, and 8.4/1000 respectively. In the Health portion of Indonesia's 4th 5-year plan (Pelita IV), the 1st priority is given to reducing the neonatal death rate of 93/1000 live births; the 7th priority is reduction of mortality due to neonatal tetanus by ensuring adequate immunization as part of routine health services and by requiring 2 tetanus immunizations of all women applying for a marriage certificate.
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  17. 17

    [Statistical country yearbook: members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, 1984] Statisticheskii ezhegodnik stran--chlenov Soveta Ekonomicheskoi Vzaimopomoshchi, 1984.

    Sovet Ekonomicheskoi Vzaimopomoshchi

    Moscow, USSR, Finansy i Statistika, 1984. 456 p.

    This yearbook presents general statistical information for member countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. A section on population (pp. 7-14) includes data on area and population; population according to the latest census; average annual population; birth, death, and natural increase rates; infant mortality; average life expectancy; marriages and divorces; urban and rural population; and population distribution by social group. (ANNOTATION)
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  18. 18
    Peer Reviewed

    The United Nations convention on the rights of women: opportunities for family planning providers.

    Cook RJ; Haws JM

    International Family Planning Perspectives. 1986 Jun; 12(2):49-53.

    The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was adoptedin in 1979 by the UN Gereral Assembly and came into force in 1981. By May 1986, 87 countries had ratified and in so doing become states parties to it. The Forward looking Strategies for implementing the goals of the UN decade for women outline measures that countries must take by the year 2000 to achieve equality between men and women. The Strategies was adopted by over 150 countries in 1985 in Nairobi and endorsed subsequently by UN General. This article discussedes how the Convention and the strategies can be used to promote family planning (FP), reproductive rights, and maternal health. The covention requires states parties to ensure equal access of men and women to health and FP services. The article outlines the many practices and policies that enhigbit equal access to FP services. For example, in some nations, husbands but not wives are allowed to obtain contraceptives without spousal authorization; in others unmarried men but not unmarried women may obtain contraceptives. The strategies recognize that adolescent pregnancy has adverse effects on the morbidity and mortality of mothers and children and requires nations to provide contraceptives on an equal basis to adolescent men and women. The article concludes by explanining that states parties to the convention must report to the committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, established by the convention, on steps they have taken to eliminate discriminatory practices in health care and FP specifically and other fields generally, and outlines what FP organizations can do to assist in that reporting process. (author's modified)
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  19. 19

    An evaluation of Pathfinder's early marriage education program in Indonesia, November-December 1984.

    Dornsife C; Mahmoed A

    Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Pathfinder Fund, 1986 Feb. 41 p. (Pathfinder Fund Working Papers No. 4)

    Indonesian government officials determined in the early 1970's that an increase in marriage age as well as in the use of contraceptives would be needed to reduce the country's growth rate. In 1974, the Marriage Law Reform Act increased the minimun marriageable age, but compliance was rare. In 1981, Pathfinder initiated a campaign to address this. The 1st objective was to educate influentials (e.g. religious leaders). The 2nd objective was to gather information and promote discussion of societal norms that lead to early marriage and childbearing. The underlying assumptions were that non-compliance arose from a lack of knowledge about the marriage law and that norms promoting early marriage and fertility were amenable to change. The program reviewed in this working paper covers 6 projects with 5 prominent Indonesian organizations--3 women's groups, a national public health association, and a branch of the Family Planning Coordinating Board. The activities began with national seminars to discuss objectives. National and local-level activities followed, ranging from the publication of a national bulletin to training marriage counselors. Women's groups incorporated the education program into their ongoing functions. Program effects were widespread. Evaluators' assessment in 1984 found that the controversial topic of adolescent fertility has been intensively discussed at national and local levels. Their recommendations include: focusing work on large-impact organizations, evaluation of certain projects, support for various projects, concentrating on key issues. The training project management should be integrated into Pathfinder's schedule. Studies should be performed to make sure this desin is not too ambitious. Baseline data should be incorporated. The 2-year approach should be extended to 5, since the impact of marriage age legislation will not be felt for several years.
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  20. 20

    Demographic trends and their development implications.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]

    In: Third Asian and Pacific Population Conference (Colombo, September 1982). Selected papers. Bangkok, Thailand, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1984. 9-40. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 58)

    This report summarizes the recent demographic situation and considers prospective trends and their development implications among the 39 members and associate members of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It presents data on the following: size, growth, and distribution of the population; age and sex structure; fertility and marriage; mortality; international migration; growth and poverty; food and nutrition; households and housing; primary health care; education; the working-age population; family planning; the elderly; and population distribution. Despite improvements in the frequency and quality of demographic data collected in recent years, big gaps continue to exist in knowledge of the demographic situation in the ESCAP region. Available evidence suggests that the population growth rate of the ESCAP region declined between 1970 and 1980, as compared with the preceding decade, but that its rate of decline was slow. Within this overall picture, there is wide variation, with the most developed countries having annual growth rates around 1% and some of the least developed countries having a figure near 3%. The main factors associated with the high growth rates are the past high levels of fertility resulting in young age structures and continuing high fertility in some countries, notably in middle south Asia. The population of countries in the ESCAP region is expected to grow from 2.5 billion in 1980, to 2.9 billion in 1990, and to 3.4 billion persons by the year 2000. This massive growth in numbers, which will be most pronounced in Middle South Asia, will occur despite projected continuing moderation in annual population growth rates. Fertility is expected to continue its downward trend, assuming a more widespread and equitable distribution of health, education, and family planning services. Mortality is expected to decline further from its current levels, where life expectancy is often at or around 50 years. In several countries, more than 10 in every 100 babies born die before their 1st birthday. The extension of primary health care services is seen as the key to reducing this figure. Rapid population growth and poverty tend to reinforce each other. Low income, lack of education, and high infant and child mortality contribute to high fertility, which in turn is associated with high rates of natural increase. High rates of natural increase feed back to depress socioeconomic development. High population growth rates and their correlates of young age structures and heavy concentrations of persons in the nonproductive ages tend to depress production and burden government expenditure with high costs for social overhead needs. Rapid population growth emerges as an important factor in the persistence of chronic undernutrition and malnutrition. It increases the magnitude of the task of improving the educational system and exacerbates the problem of substandard housing that is widely prevalent throughout Asia.
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  21. 21

    Report of the Expert Group on Fertility and Family. Introduction.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. Fertility and family. New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. 1-44. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements)

    This volume is comprised of the reports of the 1st of 4 Expert Group Meetings, scheduled in preparation for the 1984 International Conference on Population. Individuals and organizations attending this meeting are listed. The central task of the meeting was to examine critical, high-priority issues relevant to fertility and family and, on that basis, to make recommendations for action that would enhance the effectiveness of and compliance with the World Population Plan of Action, adopted in 1974 at Bucharest. The 1st item on the agenda dealt with ways in which modernization elements in the socio-cultural and economic patterns and institutions of societies alter reproduction. The 2nd topic of discussion was the relationship between family structure and fertility. The view adopted was that family structure could be influenced by a variety of factors that would have implications for fertility (e.g., delayed at marriage, improvements in education). The deliberations on factors influencing choice with respect to childbearing focused upon the complexity of decision making in matters of reproduction. In question, too, was a possible conflict between the acknowledged rights to freedom of choice in respect to childbearing and to the rights and goals of society, as well the acceptability of incentives and disincentives as measures introduced by governments to achieve social goals. The 4th item, reproductive and economic activity of women, was discussed from several perspectives: the amount of reproductive lifetime available to women for productive pursuits other than childbearing; the introduction of social support programs and income-generating opportunities. In the discussion of demographic goals and policy alternatives, the 5th item on the agenda, the policy options considered were family planning programs, incentives and desincentives, social and economic development, and marriage and divorce laws. Particular attention was given to the importance of local institutional settings for the achievement of government policy goals. The Expert Group's recommendations on population policy, family planning, the conditions of women, adolescent fertility, IEC, management and training, international cooperation and areas of research (demographic data, determinants of fertility, operational research and bio-medical) are included in this introduction. Finally, presented in the form of annexes are the agenda for the meeting, the list of documents and the texts of the opening statements.
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  22. 22

    Planned parenthood and sex attitudes.

    Calderone MS

    In: Sobrero AJ, Lewit S, ed. Advances in planned parenthood. Proceedings of the Third and Fourth Annual Meetings of the American Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians, Chicago, Illinois, May, 1965/Denver, Colorado, April 1966. Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica Foundation, 1967. 227-30. (International Congress Series No. 138)

    The availability of highly effective methods of contraception provides new opportunities for a broadened approach to family planning in which contraception is part of a course of therapy holistically planned for the welfare of the individual. This approach requires family planners to shift their emphasis from responsible parenthood to responsible sexual functioning. Medical practice must recognize human sexuality as a health entity in and of itself and analyze its functioning through anatomical, physiological, and psychological components. In contrast to men's sexuality, which tends to be pelvic-centered, women's sexuality is constantly shifting in focus, from pelvic-centered to emotion-centered to spiritual-centered and back again. This shifting of emphasis reflects the creative interplay between a woman's reproductive and sexual lives and contraindicates a purely mechanistic approach to contraception. The family planning movement, which in its earlier stages of necessity shifted from a clinical to a public health orientation, is now in a position to move toward renewed consideration of the needs of the individual. The goal at this stage should be not just fewer pregnanvies but also a better quality of life and improved marital relationships.
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  23. 23

    Profile of Bangladesh women: selected aspects of women's roles and status in Bangladesh.

    Alamgir SF

    [Unpublished] 1977. 99 p.

    This report was prepared in response to a request from the Asian Bureau of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) that all USAID missions in Asia develop national profiles on the status of women in their countries. The 1st section of the report, "Women's Legal and Social Status," is based on the 1974 Bangladesh Population Census and presents information on the laws and customs related to women's property and inheritance rights, marriage, and divorce. The 2nd section, "The Rural Woman," provides information on the role of women in rural society. Although 90% of the 76.2 women in Bangladesh are rural, data in this area are limited. Statistics on Bangladeshi women are presented in an Appendix. These data reveal the subordinate position of women in Bangladesh society. Females account for only 0.9 million of the 20.5 million population in the labor force. Of the 7.8 million primary school graduates, 2.7 million are female; of the 4.0 million secondary school graduates, 0.7 million are female. Women constitute 0.07 million of the 0.7 million college graduates. An average number of 6 children/family is reported, and 0.8 million (4.7% of eligible couples) females practice family planning. Recognition of the contributions being made by women to Bangladesh society and development of these activities through additional training and support is urged. Greater participation of women in agriculture and other development activities should be encouraged. Recent indicators of the changing status of women in Bangladesh include the creation of a Women's Affairs Division within the President's Secretariat. In addition, 10% of public sector jobs are being reserved for women.
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  24. 24

    Population in the Arab world: problems and prospects.

    Omran AR

    New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities; London, England, Croom Helm, 1980. 215 p.

    The Arab population, consisting of 20 states and the people of Palestine, was almost 153 million in 1978 and is expected to reach 300 million by the year 2000. Most Arab countries have a high population growth rate of 3%, a young population structure with about 50% under age 15, a high rate of marriage, early age of marriage, large family size norm, and an agrarian rural community life, along with a high rate of urban expansion. Health patterns are also similar with epidemic diseases leading as causes of mortality and morbidity. But there is uneven distribution of wealth in the region with per capita annual income ranging from US$100 in Somalia to US$12,050 in Kuwait; health care is also more elaborate in the wealthier countries. Fertility rates are high in most countries, with crude birthrates about 45/1000 compared with 32/1000 in the world as a whole and 17/1000 in most developed countries. In many Arab countries up to 30-50% of total investment is involved in population-related activities compared to 15% in European countries. There is also increasing pressure in the educational and health systems with the same amount of professionals dealing with an increasing amount of people. Unplanned and excessive fertility also contributes to health problems for mothers and children with higher morbidity, mortality, and nutrition problems. Physical isolation of communities contributes to difficulties in spreading health care availability. Urban population is growing rapidly, 6%/year in most Arab cities, and at a rate of 10-15% in the cities of Kuwait and Qatar; this rate is not accompanied by sufficient urban planning policies or modernization. A unique population problem in this area is that of the over 2 million Palestinians living in and outside the Middle East who put demographic pressures on the Arab countries. 2 major constraints inhibit efforts to solve the Arab population problem: 1) the difficulty of actually reallocating the people to achieve more even distribution, and 2) cultural and political sensitivities. Since in the Arab countries fertility does not correlate well with social and economic indicators, it is possible that development alone will not reduce the fertility of the Arab countries unless rigorous and effective family planning policies are put into action.
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  25. 25

    Action by the United Nations to implement the recommendations of the World Population Conference, 1974: monitoring of population trends and policies: concise report on monitoring of population trends.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Council. Population Commission

    New York, UN, 1980 Dec 16. 30 p. (E/CN.9/347)

    Included in this document is a concise report presented to the Population Commission on the findings of the 3rd round of monitoring of world population trends as requested by the Economic and Social Council in resolution 1979/33. The findings are summarized in terms of the recent levels and trends of demographic variables and their differentials. Attention is directed to the socioeconomic determinants and consequences of these levels and trends. The relationships between population and development are reviewed. Such aspects are included as economic disparities associated with socio-demographic development and the relations between fertility, mortality and socioeconomic variables in developing countries. There appears to be increasing evidence that a movement towards fertility decline in underway in the developing countries and that the trend towards moderation in the rate of growth of world population is continuing. The annual rate of growth of the world population may decline to 1.5% by the end of the 20th century, from 1.7 at this time and 2.0% over 15 years ago. The decline is small, and its significance lies primarily in its persistence and anticipated acceleration. Otherwise, substantial population increase, primarily in many of the developing countries, will persist and continue to be among the major factors influencing the present and future of humanity. The decline in the birthrate of the developing countries was mostly brought about by declines in China and in several East-Asian, South-Asian and Latin American countries. Besides the initial fertility decline in the developing countries, another primary feature of the present demographic situation is the continuing fertility decline in the developed countries.
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