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Reproductive Health Matters. 2011 Nov; 19(38):35-41.This paper explores the actors who replaced the agreements about the global development agenda made in the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo 1994 and the 4th UN World Women's Conference in Beijing in 1995 with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It also surveys the processes which shape and affect the exercise of power, which can lead to radical changes.
In: Getting institutions right for women in development, edited by Anne Marie Goetz. London, England, Zed Books, 1997. 44-60.Most of the development literature considers accountability either as a political or an organizational issue and few consider it as a cognitive issue. All three must be examined in order to acquire a broader understanding of accountability. Accountability has to do with the organizational characteristics (goals, procedures, staffing, incentive systems) of all agencies involved, as well as with the political context, that is, the political commitment of the stakeholders to a project, whether the options of 'exit' and 'voice' are available and whether democratic accountability exists. Finally, accountability cannot be discussed without understanding the 'discourse' underlying a particular policy area, in our case gender policy. How do different stakeholders define 'gender issues'? On what basis should resources be allocated to women? The perceived cause of gender constraints will also determine what solutions are proposed. To what extent is there agreement between different stakeholders on the nature of the issue and the proposed solutions? These are some of the questions we might ask as we explore gendered institutions. Therefore, I will begin by analysing the conditions that limit and promote accountability within these three major categories: the organizational context, the political context and the cognitive context. (excerpt)
LINKS. 1997 Jun; 1-2.Under the Taliban, which took control of Kabul in Afghanistan in October 1996, Shari's law has been interpreted strictly; women cannot work outside the home, cannot be educated, and must wear the burkha. Professional and educated women have moved to Pakistan. According to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 1995 figures, the literacy rate among women is 15%; among men it is 45%. This will only worsen if the education of girls is banned. International nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) report that interpretation of the law varies with district; girls under 10 years of age can attend school in some areas, and some Taliban commanders are more liberal than others. The 30,000 households headed by women will fall into poverty if the women cannot work and have no other means of support. Women's relationships outside the home will be determined entirely by men. Gender roles will change because men will now have to take over jobs women formerly performed outside the home: taking children to clinics, shopping, and collecting water. Women's support groups will collapse because visiting will be difficult and hospitality will be too expensive. International agencies have distributed food and provided work to women in their homes; men are used to communicate with the women. This has been done at risk. Oxfam UK/I, which cannot deliver quality humanitarian aid without working with both women and men, will attempt, through a witnessing and influencing strategy, to persuade the Taliban to become more moderate.
FPAN NEWSLETTER. 1994 Sep-Oct; 14(5):1.175 countries met in Cairo, Egypt, from September 5-13, 1994, at the Fifth International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), to discuss human rights, reproductive health, and sustained use of resources. Created by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 1989/1991, the ICPD is headed by Dr Nafis Sadik, the Secretary General of the Conference and the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission, led a 16-member team from Nepal. The opening speakers agreed that empowerment of women, through improvements in educational status and economic conditions, was the key to solving the world's population problems. President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, in his inaugural speech, warned of the dangers of overpopulation and stated that the cornerstone of successful demographic policy was "improving women's conditions" in developing countries. UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in his opening speech, stated that education and mobilization of women were essential to the success of population and development policies worldwide, and that men and women must have the right and means to choose their, and their families,' futures. Dr Sadik said the deaths of 500,000 pregnant women annually and of three million babies in the first week of life as a result of poor health care was "morally unacceptable." Dr Halfdan Mahler, Secretary General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), speaking from the nongovernmental organization (NGO) forum, expressed support for the objectives of the ICPD and mentioned the 6 challenges of the Vision 2000 program. IPPF has established a fund to finance FPAs on a competitive basis. Dr Mahler closed by asking for prompt action and continuing cooperation among the governments and NGOs in order to mobilize the necessary resources.