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In: Women in the age of economic transformation. Gender impact of reforms in post-socialist and developing countries, [edited by] Nahid Aslanbeigui, Steven Pressman and Gale Summerfield. London, England, Routledge, 1994. 77-94.The author presents evidence that the World Bank's privatization of health care delivery has failed to improve the quality or quantity of health services in sub-Saharan Africa. Health care service has instead deteriorated and become more scarce. Since women have greater health care needs, especially during and after pregnancy, they have suffered the most from the attempt to limit the public provision of health care. Women's ability to influence health sector reforms is, however, hampered by their lack of political power, the weakened state, and the new role of the Bretton Woods organizations in setting national policies at the international level. Women are excluded from all decision-making jobs at the four highest levels of government in 21 African countries. Although African women join organizations in large numbers, they have only minimal impact upon state policies. There is no suggestion in the literature that women have succeeded in influencing the provision of social services by the private sector. Women's best hope in influencing international policy to make them become more responsive to women's needs is to make their voices heard in large international forums such as the Fourth World Conference on Women to be held in Beijing in September 1995.
Country report: Bangladesh. International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1994.
[Unpublished] 1994. iv, 45 p.The country report prepared by Bangladesh for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development begins by highlighting the achievements of the family planning (FP)/maternal-child health (MCH) program. Political commitment, international support, the involvement of women, and integrated efforts have led to a decline in the population growth rate from 3 to 2.07% (1971-91), a decline in total fertility rate from 7.5 to 4.0% (1974-91), a reduction in desired family size from 4.1 to 2.9 (1975-89), a decline in infant mortality from 150 to 88/1000 (1975-92), and a decline in the under age 5 years mortality from 24 to 19/1000 (1982-90). In addition, the contraceptive prevalence rate has increased from 7 to 40% (1974-91). The government is now addressing the following concerns: 1) the dependence of the FP and health programs on external resources; 2) improving access to and quality of FP and health services; 3) promoting a demand for FP and involving men in FP and MCH; and 4) achieving social and economic development through economic overhaul and by improving education and the status of women and children. The country report presents the demographic context by giving a profile of the population and by discussing mortality, migration, and future growth and population size. The population policy, planning, and program framework is described through information on national perceptions of population issues, the evolution and current status of the population policy (which is presented), the role of population in development planning, and a profile of the national population program (reproductive health issues; MCH and FP services; information, education, and communication; research methodology; the environment, aging, adolescents and youth, multi-sectoral activities, women's status; the health of women and girls; women's education and role in industry and agriculture, and public interventions for women). The description of the operational aspects of population and family planning (FP) program implementation includes political and national support, the national implementation strategy, evaluation, finances and resources, and the role of the World Population Plan of Action. The discussion of the national plan for the future involves emerging and priority concerns, the policy framework, programmatic activities, resource mobilization, and regional and global cooperation.