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In: Enfoques feministas de las políticas antiviolencia, [compiled by] Centro de Encuentros Cultura y Mujer [CECYM]. Buenos Aires, Argentina, CECYM, . 75-79. (Travesías: Temas del Debate Feminista Contemporáneo 1)I will make another comment on views in the first world of women from the third world. I sometimes believe that the perspectives are very simplistic. From a first world standpoint, it is very easy to say: "we will talk about development and violence, and we will help women from all types of countries who don't have or know anything better." It's not that simple, where you can merely state that a country "is backward as regards women, because it is a backward nation." Backward in the sense that this is a nation whose population is not sufficiently well educated. This is a simplistic notion that contributes to perpetuating many of the feelings of indulgence on the part of aid agencies in diverse donor countries, which encounter a large dose of skepticism and cynicism in the countries receiving that help. In these countries people want to know why they want to help us, what they want to know about our countries to use to their advantage. Then I think that it is necessary to keep in mind that you cannot have a simple notion about complex social problems and a complicated cultural situation about which you know nothing. (excerpt)
Getting representation right for women in development: accountability, consent and the articulation of women's interests.
In: Getting institutions right for women in development, edited by Anne Marie Goetz. London, England, Zed Books, 1997. 31-43.Consent, as a basis of political authority, remains a forcefully compelling principle because it recognizes so many of the human qualities - autonomy, dignity, responsibility - which we collectively value. But to revere the concept of consent means that we must respect the unpalatable decisions made by others and respect, in turn, means than we cannot ultimately challenge the autonomy of the decision-makers. Thus the more we respect consent, the less capable we are of investigating the context of choice; and the less satisfied we are with the context of choice, the less respect we have for the principle of consent in practice. To break this circle we must be willing to probe and to query the choices and decisions of 'autonomous' agents; for consent itself is not only a moral construct but, more tangibly, a potently political device for ensuring obedience. Instruments of such palpable power must always be carefully and consistently scrutinized, and we must be brave enough to say whether consent has been won at too high a price. (excerpt)
In: Women's human rights: unfinished business, edited by Adriana Gomez and Deborah Meacham. Santiago, Chile, Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network, 2003. 10-14. (Women's Health Collection No. 7)The legal and political realms of international women's rights have both influenced each other more than criminal law. Developments in the protection of human rights through criminal law is a recent phenomenon compared to the wider framework of women's human rights protection. Although the political recommendations, such as those found in Platforms for Action, do not have the force of law, they do provide a starting point for working towards the goal of agreements on the commitments and priorities not only between the governments, but with civil society as well. However, these processes have not been without conflict, and the dialogue with civil society has incorporated other movements and NGOs whose interests are far from consistent with those of the women's movement. (excerpt)
In: Gender, economic integration, governance and methods of contraceptives / Genre, integration economique, gouvernance et methodes contraceptives, [compiled by] Association of African Women for Research and Development [AAWORD]. Dakar, Senegal, AAWORD / AFARD, 2002 Jun. vii-xi.The failure of the economic development policies of the 70s was recognized and replaced by other terms like "satisfaction of human needs", "humane appearance development." But this new discourse, not having any pertinent referential base towards the environment and the third-world realities, has done nothing but take advantage of structural inequality. Even worse, the southern countries have to face reimbursements "without end" of the debt. Elsewhere, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have set in place the political talks of Structural Adjustment (PAS), which hasn't responded to the needs of the populations, thus continuing the already existing inequality. Besides, they equally oblige the States to operate a group of compressions in their public dispenses especially in the domain of neuralgic sectors like health and education. These measures have contributed to aggravating the poor, above all the feminine population. As for globalization, it will accentuate the negative effects of the Structural Adjustment and will aggravate the social and economic crisis. (excerpt)
In: Ethics for a small planet: new horizons on population, consumption, and ecology, [by] Daniel C. Maguire and Larry L. Rasmussen. Albany, New York, State University of New York Press, 1998. 1-63. (SUNY Series in Religious Studies)This essay on population, consumption, and ecology, opens with a short review of the crisis caused by overpopulation and the inequitable distribution of resources. This discussion is then amplified by a close look at conditions and responses to these conditions in Egypt, China, and the Indian state of Kerala and at the six most common interrelated problems that threaten our existence: maldistribution, the perversion of national governments into the service of the elite, unfair distributional patterns protected by a military support system, male dominance, indifference, and a lack of reproductive health services. Next, the essay considers the role of government and ways to achieve freedom of reproductive choices while reducing birth rates. The remainder of the essay is devoted to a consideration of the role of religions in the next millennium; the prospects for religious revolution and renaissance; the nature of religion and of God, whether God exists; the experience of the sacred; the relationship of ethics and religion; the incongruity of a sacramental, monotheistic view of God with the violence of nature; the maleness of the God-symbol; the "posthumous egoism" that seeks an afterlife and views the earth as a mere stopping-off place on the journey; and the need for religion, as a sense of the sacred, to fuel the cultural revolution needed to solve the planet's problems. The essay concludes that, despite the fact that the apocalypse is reality for much of the world, hope remains and was palpable during the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development.
In: Family planning. Meeting challenges: promoting choices. The proceedings of the IPPF Family Planning Congress, New Delhi, October 1992, edited by Pramilla Senanayake and Ronald L. Kleinman. Carnforth, England, Parthenon Publishing Group, 1993. 7-14.The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been guided by the belief that family planning is a basic human right. The United Nations Population fund (UNFPA) and IPPF have had a long-standing cooperative relationship in this arena. Family planning is not only a human right, it is a necessity; projections indicate that world population will increase to 8.5 billion by 2025 and to 10 billion by 2050. The high and medium projections diverge sharply after the year 2000 depending on the effect of family planning acceptance and the spread of contraceptive prevalence. In 1989 the international community set a target of increasing contraceptive prevalence in developing countries from 387 million to 567 million by 2000. First the existing need for FP has to be met, since about 400 million couples do not have access to services. At least 150 million would use FP if services were available. The total cost of providing FP services would be $9 billion annually, which is a minute amount compared to total military expenditures. The positive impact of FP depends on voluntary acceptance, age, family, status, and parity, which fact rules out setting quotas or targets. A choice-based approach is preferred, which negates single-method FP programs. FP policies can succeed only if they invest in women with regard to education: this could end early marriage. The growing problem of adolescent pregnancy also has to be tackled. Maternal mortality and morbidity can be prevented by existing medical technology to treat their causes (hemorrhage, hypertension, infection, obstructed labor, and unsafe abortion). The promotion of breast feeding is important both for the child's health and for its temporary contraceptive effects. FP programs should also combat HIV/AIDS by providing information and counseling for women. In recent years the quality of care has come to the forefront in FP clinics where accessibility, privacy, and confidentiality of services are needed.
The International Conference on Population and Development -- Prepcom II Meeting: intervention by the representative of the Family Planning Association of India.
JOURNAL OF FAMILY WELFARE. 1993 Jun; 39(2):1-2.Family planning is needed to improve women's status, health, and welfare. The Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) wants women to live rather than die and to become their own persons, not just childbearers. The cultural and societal coercion to bear children needs to dissipate so women can gain equal status by having control over their own bodies and fertility and by practicing their rights as citizens. Insufficient health care and too frequent pregnancies kill too many women. Family planning use allows women to prevent pregnancy, the hazards of abortion, and premature death caused by pregnancy. Contraceptives seldom cause death, even when they have certain side effects. In developing countries, unwanted pregnancies and pregnancy complications kill millions of women yearly. India experiences more maternal deaths in 1 week than does all of Europe. Policies and programs must secure the availability of basic health care for women and men at every life stage, safe motherhood and child survival services, quality care and counseling for health and family planning, and information allowing people to make informed individual choices in family planning. Providers must clearly communicate the advantages and disadvantages of family planning methods so people can make choices that are right for them. Since population, development, and environment are interrelated, we must use measures that address all three issues. The Cairo Conference must address a broad spectrum of interrelated issues. It needs to clearly communicate that we can solve rapid population growth in a reasonable time period. Solutions must be ethical, humane, and beneficial as well as preserve human rights and responsibilities and achieve environmental balance with sustainable development.
IN / FIRE ETHICS 1994; 3(3-4):8-9.Religion was a problem at the Conference on Population and Development. Many people consider religion to be anti-modern or reactionary. The conference document describes a global population policy that assumes underlying ethical values but does not articulate these values. The document does not recognize conflicts between values. Secular rationality is a culture shared by an elite, not the masses. Yet the document is intended for them. It cannot empower women, especially poor or non-elite women, to regulate their fertility, if it cannot connect with their religious cultures. The cultural conflict is not just between religious discourse and secular discourse but a deep conflict within religion itself. This conflict is seething in Catholicism and other major religions and manifested itself at the conference. The opposition at the conference hid internal schisms. Christianity has a deep conflict between norms sacralizing the dominant patriarchal social order as the will of God and the order of creation and the prophetic faith that protests against oppressive social patterns. Christianity has had continual surges of renewal that rekindle the prophetic protest tradition on behalf of the poor and the marginalized. The world is in the midst of such a wave in the forms of liberation and feminist theologies. Deep symbols of justice and protests against injustice are being applied for the first time to women. To affirm women as images of God, one must image God as woman. Women are called into the community of equals. The rediscovery of the meaning of symbols of redemption and applying them to the poor and women is shaking traditional Christianity to its roots. The Vatican's refusal of the conference document is a refusal to discuss the challenge of renewal within its own community. The conflict with the Vatican should be put in the context of a conflict between patriarchy and prophetic faith (women's liberation). The document will fail if it ignores or neutralizes religion.
Development. 1989; (4):49-51.In 1970, the United Nations adopted a long-term women's advancement program and other initiatives to raise consciousness on women's issues and to identify appropriate actions to take in promoting gender equality and women's integration in development. Setting its objective as equality between the sexes by the year 2000, the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies is also a UN system-wide medium-term plan with specific activities to implement over the period 1990-95. These UN actions have, therefore, prepared the way for women's advancement in the 1990s and beyond. Efforts do, however, need to be made to build upon and expand these initiatives to facilitate the total integration, participation, and recognition of women in the social, economic, and political lives of countries throughout the world. Present UN strategy suffers from multiple focal points, a diffused mandate, limited financial resources, and inadequate interaction with national governments. The development of an UN Special Agency for Women's Development is suggested as a way of solidly propelling women ahead toward globally-recognized equality and greater overall opportunity. This agency would be the umbrella over existing and future related programs and activities, armed with a clear and specific mandate, an independent executive board, an independent fundraising ability, institutional arrangements to undertake in-country projects, and field offices.
In: Population and human rights, proceedings of the Expert Group Meeting on Population and Human Rights, Geneva, 3-6 April 1989 edited by the United Nations, Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. New York, New York, United Nations, Department of International Economic and Social Affairs, 1990. 29-53. (ST/ESA/SER.R/107)This paper provides background information in population variables (mortality and fertility) and their relationship to human rights and introduces new issues that were not covered by the World Population Plan of Action in 1974 nor in Mexico City in 1984. These are: 1) the ethical implications of molecular biology for fertility and mortality; 2) rights of women as applied to the labor force; and 3) government respect for the rights of couples and individuals to decide on the number and spacing of children and to avoid coercion in the design of explicit fertility policies. The major issues in mortality are: 1) quality of health services; 2) the status of women; 3) ethnicity; 4) preference for sons; and the 5) acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The major issues raised for fertility are: 1) trends; 2) views and policies between developed and developing countries; 3) 9 major issues and policies (improvement in the status of women; family planning programs; promoting public awareness; day care/nursery centers; maternity or paternity benefits; comprehensive pension schemes; care and protection of the aged; family allowances and tax exemptions to parents). The last section discusses the trend towards demographic aging; views on population age structure and the major issues in the area of population age structure. The 1982 Vienna International Plan of Action on Aging is the international document dealing with the rights of older persons.
Development. 1988; (2-3):93-6.25-40% of households in East Africa are female-headed because women are either single, divorced, widows or made responsible for their families; there are other cases where women are de facto principal supporters of their families in spite of men retaining positions as figure heads. In Tanzania, unlike other African countries, the country has begun to prosper as a result of the structural adjustment policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This article discusses 3 major points: 1) that the rapid social and economic changes have not been communicated to the majority of people causing resistance to new policies; 2) the changing role of women in a Tanzania with a stronger economy; and 3) the need for donor agencies to respond positively to people's self-reliance and initiation of new projects.
[Unpublished] 1984. 4 p.In addressing the International Population Conference in Mexico City the New Zealand Delegation identified its role concerning the issues of world population and family planning. As a national member of the global community, New Zealand recognizes the importance of a worldwide balance of material goods and resources and population. Between the years 1974 and 1984, following the Population Conference in Bucharest, mortality trends have shown progress. The world population is gradually decreasing in developing and industrialized nations. however, during the same decade, the population showed an increase of 770 million. Many of the countries who experienced the greatest population increase were the least equipped to serve the population influx with proper food, shelter and health and education services. The Population Conferences have allowed for the global community to come together and review past accomplishments and to look at future needs. New Zealand's position on the role of women through family planning is to support women's exploration into positions beyond traditional roles and that women be fully incorporated in the process of development.
[Unpublished] 1990 Jun. Paper presented at the 5th Annual International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Conference: A Decade of the Women's Convention: Where are we? What's next?, Roosevelt Hotel, New York City, Jan. 20-22, 1990. 5 p.The acceptance and guarantee of a person's basic human right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of one's children still remains an on-going challenge in legal and social institutions. Government's organized opposition to women's freedom in reproductive health care are illustrated in this paper by examples drawn from Romania, Singapore and the Soviet Union. In spite of the fact that the 1st mention of reproductive health care was paralleled to a basic human tight in the UN in 1966, such international guarantees are ignored by governments and powerful coalition groups thus denying the access and availability of services to millions of men and women. There are now around 300 million couples practicing responsible reproduction, an additional 300 million who are seeking such services and another 100-200 million who will join there 2 groups. Finding appropriate resources to meet the needs of education, information, counseling, and follow-up services are a few of the tasks facing administrators and policy-makers in the next decade. Strong political backing is a pre-requisite to assure success of such investments because of the existence of such groups as the anti-choice lobbyists in the US who have succeeded in denying US government funding to UNFPA and IPPF. Constant vigilance is a 2nd requirement to protect, defend and uphold women's right to reproductive choice. Providing women with legal mechanisms is essential if such practices as genital mutilation (female circumcision), child marriage, slavery and illegal prostitution are to be eradicated. The suggestion that 1994 be proclaimed "International Year of the Family" with the theme Family: Resources and Responsibilities in a Changing World, will allow NGO's to develop viable agendas to defend women's reproductive rights internationally. (author's modified)
In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 173.The matter of high population growth is of great concern to all governments, worldwide. The country of Viet Nam, like other developing countries, shares the problem of a high population growth rate. The present population of Viet Nam, 58 million, consists of 40% of the population under 15 and is distributed unevenly. The national programme of the country is concerned with controlling rising population rates and improving the quality of life for its people. The government of Viet Nam has responded by implementing various organizations to deal with family planning, health care, and the protection of mother and child. The government has succeeded in decreasing the population growth rate from 3.2% to 2.3%.
In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 179.The government of Zimbabwe has taken into account the seriousness of population factors on socioeconomic development. The government has taken care to include various population programs in its National Development Plans. Independence for Zimbabwe heralded problems with insufficient demographic and socioeconomic data. The government in 1982, implemented its 1st census, followed by a national survey on Zimbabwean households. Present day population programs deal with data collection and provision of family planning and population awareness programs. Zimbabwe shares population problems similar to other developing countries: internal and external migration; high mortality and morbidity rates; and the low status of women. In response to these, the government has implemented various population programmes dealing with health care, family planning, and creating equity in all facets of society. The government of Zimbabwe recognizes and endorses the principles of national sovereignty and respect for the rights of individuals, as outlined in the World Population Plan of Action.
In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 149-50.The population of the Sudan, according to a 1983 census was 22 million. The Sudan, the largest country in Africa, has experienced high population growth. The population in 1955 was 10.3 million, and it has doubled in the space of 27 years. The population growth rate was figured at 2.8%/year, indicating that the population will double again in the next 25 years. The government of the Sudan has to deal with strains on services consumer goods caused by 50% of the population being under the age of 15. Internal and external immigration produce strains on the Sudanese workforce, cities and government resources. The primary concern of the Sudanese government in its National Population Policy programmes, is to balance the population and other facts of the Sudanese community, namely manpower size. The government is an attempt to understanding changing population variables, plans the following: to conduct a census on the population every 10 years; give consideration in its programs to the protection of the family; and to give special attention to women, in both an economic and political capacity.
POPULI. 1989 Jun; 16(2):4-19.Barriers that prevent women from reaching their full potential should be eliminated, especially in developing countries. Households headed by females are the poorest in the world. In many countries, women are not permitted to own land. Family planning services are essential to the development of women. About US $3 billion a year is spent on family planning services in developing countries. In many developing nations, discrimination against girls is ingrained. Small, weak babies are likely to come from underfed mothers. Childbirth has risks; these are especially so in developing countries. 3/4 of the developing world's health problems can be solved by prevention and cure. In 60 developing countries, women working outside the home tended to have fewer children than those working at home or in the fields. But studies in Turkey, Thailand, and other countries have shown the opposite. In 38 countries, research has shown that only at higher socioeconomic levels is employment an alternative to childbearing. Relying on women for cheap, unskilled labor is a waste of human and economic resources. Better education and higher employment levels could enable women to better contribute to development. Employment figures for women often misrepresent the actual amount of work that women do. Having women do less work and making what they do more profitable might help bring down family size. In almost every country studied recently educated women have had fewer children than less educated women. The families of these educated mothers are likely to be healthier, too. Recommendations addressed mainly to governments, are given in 6 areas: 1) equality of status; 2) documenting and publicizing women's contribution to development; 3) increasing women's productivity and lessening their double burden; 4) providing family planning; 5) improving women's health; and 6) expanding education. Goals for the year 2000 are given. For the last 20 years, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) has emphasized women's role in population programs and projects. UNFPA has set up an internal Working Group on Women, Population and Development.
Sex roles, population and development in West Africa: policy-related studies on work and demographic issues.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Heinemann Educational Books, 1987. xiii, 242 p.This book is a compilation of essays and studies on West African familial situations and stereotypes. It was prepared for the World Employment Programme and financed by the United Nation's Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). The book is divided into 4 sections covering women's work; fertility, parenthood and development in Yoruba; population policies, family planning, and family life education in Ghana; and government plans and development policies in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Ghana. The appendix contains a list of Offices of Women's Affairs around West Africa. The objective of the book is to introduce empirical examples of women's roles at work in the hope that funding for the advancement of women in underdeveloped areas will continue.
World Education Reports. 1985 Nov; (24):15-7.In the last decade we have come to radically redefine our understanding of how women fit into the socioeconomic fabric of developing countries. At least 2 factors have contributed to this realignment in our thinking. 1st, events around the UN Decade for Women dramatized women's invisibility in development planning, and mobilized human and financial resources around the issue. 2nd, the process of modernization underway in all developing countries has dramatically changed how women live and what they do. In the last decade, more and more women have become the sole providers and caretakers of the household, and have been forced to find ways to earn income to feed and clothe their families. Like many other organizations, USAID, in its current policy, emphasizes the need to integrate women as contributors to and beneficiaries of all projects, rather than to design projects specifically geared to women. Integrating women into income generation projects requires building into every step of a project--its design, implementation and evaluation--mechanisms to assure that women are not left out. The integration of women into all income generating projects is still difficult to implement. 4 reasons are suggested here: 1) resistance on the part of planners and practitioners who are still not convinced that women contribute substantially to a family's income; 2) few professionals have the expertise necessary to address the gender issue; 3) reaching women may require a larger initial investment of project funds; and 4) reaching women may require experimenting with approaches that will fit into their village or urban reality.
Women and health for all. Address at the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women, Nairobi, 16 July 1985.
[Unpublished] 1985. 3 p.Health for all by the year 2000 is an ideal embraced by the World Health Assembly. In his address, Dr. Mahler clarifies the objectives of that ideal while focusing on the plight of the underprivileged and women. He calls for education to bring about an understanding of the basic causes of illness including political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, and biological factors. He suggests the subject of women and health become more focused on women as women rather than in their roles of mothers or potential mothers. He supports the premise that through understanding comes the most effective action. The underprivileged are highlighted as a group most in need of medical attention but he warns against making them into excessive consumers of health services. Women in developing countries are considered the most at-risk health group because they are not treated equally economically, politically, or even nutritionally. It is well known that the female population of many developing countries eat considerably less than do their male counterparts, even to the point of malnutrition. Also, poor nutrition presents special health risks to the pregnant woman and her children. There are 2 ways in which health care planners may view the plight of these populations. A "he" approach points to socioeconomic development as the answer while a "she" strategy promotes a more nurturing attitude toward issues of health planning.
Population and global future, statement made at the First Global Conference on the Future: through the '80s, Toronto, Canada, 21 July 1980.
New York, N.Y., UNFPA, . 6 p. (Speech Series No. 57)The United Nations has always considered population variables to be an integral part of the total development process. UNFPA has developed, in response to national needs, a core program of population assistance which has found universal support and acceptance among the 130 recipient countries and territories. Historically, these are: family planning, population policy formulation and population dynamics. The following emerging trends are foreseeable from country requests and information available to the Fund: 1) migration from rural to urban areas and increased growth in urbanization; 2) an increased proportion of aged which has already created a number of new demands for resources in both developing and developed countries; 3) a move toward enabling women to participate in economic and educational activities; and 4) a need for urgent concern over ecological issues which affect the delicate balance of resources and population.
Population and development: the challenges for the future, statement made at the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 28 August, 1979.
New York, N.Y., UNFPA, . 14 p.In the challenges faced by national policy makers and technical experts there is a vital linkage between population programs, policies and plans on health, housing, education, employment, the environment, and the uses of resources. The ultimate end of population programs should be assisting in the creation of societies which will enable individuals to develop their full potential. Reasons for the overall decline in fertility are not fully understood. It is not known which programs need to be sustained or modified to help the momentum continue. Can the reduction in infant mortality rate to less than 120/1000 live births by 1985 be attained? Regarding migration, the problem of how countries can institute action towards a more balanced redistribution of population within their natural boundaries exists. An increase in the population of the aged will require shifts in resources to welfare systems tailored to the needs of this population group. Consideration for human rights stresses the need for population programs implemented without coercion. There is also a need for better contraceptives. Population studies indicate that increasing participation of women in economic activities has decisive effects on decreasing reproductive rates. It is not only necessary to take into account the resources required to feed, clothe and shelter a growing population, but also the type of technology which will make this possible without worsening the environment. Regarding data collection and institutional development, there is a continuous need to strengthen the data base as well as the various types of governmental and community machinery for planning, promoting and coordinating population activities with development policies in developing countries. Large increases in demand for assistance from all parts of the developing world, particularly Asia and Africa, are foreseen. Present flow must increase to US$1 billion annually to meet this demand. Parliamentarians must demonstrate a strong commitment to action. There may be a need to transform the solid institutions of our society for more peace and security. One of the principal threats to peace is social unrest caused by the accumulation of human fear and hopelessness.
UNFPA operations--report to the general assembly, statement made at the 33rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 6 Nov 1978.
New York, N.Y., UNFPA, . 13 p.In his report to the United Nations General Assembly concerning UNFPA operations, Mr. R. Salas cites the growth of UNFPA from a small US$3 million trust fund with 12 projects of limited scope, to a Fund of the General Assembly with cumulative resources of over US$500 million supporting over 1900 projects in 114 countries throughout the world. The Fund has been a pioneer within the U.N. development system in supporting programs directly aimed at increasing opportunities for greater women's participation in population and development at all levels--as policy makers, program planners and community workers. Due to the publication of a set of guidelines on women, population and development, requests for assistance in projects directly relating to women have grown. Mr. Salas describes the decline in fertility in various parts of the developing world. Birth rates have also declined in many developing countries, on the average of approximately 15%. Expectation of life at birth has been a feature showing impressive gains. Infant mortality, as well as overall death rates in developing countries, have fallen substantially in the recent past. On the negative side, the imbalance between growing human numbers and accessible resources remains. 85-90% of the 1.5 to 2 billion estimated increase in the world's population before the year 2000 is expected to occur in developing countries. Another population related concern is the growing problem of aging of the population caused by the decline of fertility and the prolongation of life expectancy. The need to integrate population factors in development planning is recognized today by almost all developing countries. In assisting governments which show an increasing desire to make their population policies more comprehensive, UNFPA seeks to encourage in-depth exploration of the interaction between population factors and development.
Women and population: the freedom to choose, statement made at the International Women's Year Conference, Mexico City, 23 June, 1975.
New York, N.Y., UNFPA, . 6 p.The themes of the International Women's Year Conference are of direct relevance to the work of the UNFPA. The UN looks upon population as a strategic factor in development. The main instrument for program action is the UNPFA which is contributed to voluntarily by 78 countries and which assists 92 countries in over 1200 projects. The measures set out in the draft Plan of Action for International Women's Year will assist women's contributions to national development. Equality is what causes development. By broadening the opportunities available to women, they will be able to enrich their own lives. Given the freedom to adapt, change becomes a positive force. However, many women do not have this freedom. There is considerable pressure for them to remain in the same niche--that of bearing and rearing children. It has been demonstrated that there is a connection between jobs outside the home, education for women, and smaller family size. Freedom to choose is more than a matter of having fewer children. It is allowing women the freedom to make the most appropriate contribution possible for them, whatever that may be. The UNFPA has recognized the importance of women to successful population policies. A considerable part of the UNFPA's available funds are devoted to health care for mothers and children, and family planning. One of the most serious problems which remains is the question of women as workers, including the problems of involving women in government. The 2 recommendations made by the Executive Director of the UNFPA are: 1) that governments acknowledge how important freedom to choose is for the future of women, and 2) that governments recognize by their policies the importance to national development of a female population which is able to achieve its aims--be they motherhood, a career, or both.
Women and World Population Year, decision-making for development, statement made at the Women's Forum on Population and Development, New York, 25 February 1974.
New York, N.Y., UNFPA, . 8 p.This statement briefly traces the history of development and population programs from the 1960's till the present and discusses what these programs can do for women. The cumulative effect of apparently minor innovations which help to ease the work load in the home is far greater than it might appear. There are significant material benefits but more important are the effects of the way a woman perceives herself. She has, for the 1st time, opportunity to widen her horizons, Increased education, employment and equality tend to lower family size as well. It is therefore important to ensure the commitment and participation of women in family planning programs, so that women become active rather than passive tools of policies which ultimately affect their lives.