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  1. 1

    Adding a gender dimension to economic decision-making - includes related article on economic aspects of women's unpaid work - Fourth World Conference on Women - Cover Story.

    Seufert-Barr N

    UN Chronicle. 1995 Jun; 32(2):[3] p..

    Women hold a meagre 1 per cent of executive positions in the 1,000 largest corporations based outside the United States. The proportion is higher, at 8 per cent, in the 1,000 largest corporations in the United States, but only a handful of women hold the top-most positions, according to a recent study by the UN Secretariat Division for the Advancement of Women. The same is true for the web of powerful global and regional multi-lateral institutions, where "women have been virtually excluded from key decision-making positions and from negotiating roles", as well as national trade policy, where the proportion of women is "insignificant", asserts Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali in a 1994 report. The result: the proportion of women in economic decision-making is not only "very low", states the report, but also "a gender dimension has been absent from macroeconomic policies and decisions regarding resource distribution, wealth creation and exchange". (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    Equal pay, urban women problems discussed by Commission - UN Commission on the Status of Women, 38th session, Mar 7-18, 1994 - includes news of other developments pertaining to equal pay and equality in marriage.

    UN Chronicle. 1994 Jun; 31(2):[4] p..

    Equal pay for work of equal value, women in urban areas and measures to eradicate violence against women were among the issues dealt with by the Commission on the Status of Women at its thirty-eighth session (7-18 March, New York). Being also the preparatory body for the Fourth world conference on Women in Beijing 1995, the commission's work focused on preparatory activities, in particular the drafting of the Platform for Action. In discussing priority themes--equality, development and peace--established for its thirty-seven through fortieth sessions, the Commission adopted 13 resolutions, many calling on Governments to urgently improve the situations of women around the world. "The road to Beijing must be paved with vision, commitment and a determination to harness the support of Governments to remove the remaining obstacles to the advancement of women", Gertrude Mongella, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Secretary-General of the Fourth World Conference, told the 45-member Commission on 7 March. It has the task of organizing that conclave, which is set for September 1995. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    Global human resources crisis [letter]

    Marchal B; De Brouwere V

    Lancet. 2004 Jun 26; 363(9427):2191-2192.

    We agree with Vasant Narasimhan and colleagues that in many developing countries, international players have substantial influence over the agenda-setting and policy-making with respect to human resources for health. The joint poverty-reduction strategy paper and debt initiative for heavily indebted poor countries (PRSP-HIPC) is a prime example of an interface between international actors and national decision-makers with real clout. Unfortunately, human resources for health often do not even figure on its agenda. A review of the PRSP in six selected African countries by the UK’s Department for International Development Health Systems Resource Centre indeed shows that, at best, the human resources crisis is merely acknowledged, and that an indepth analysis of the issue and how it relates to civil service conditions is conspicuously absent in most papers. (excerpt)
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  4. 4

    Child labour. Refuting the "nimble fingers" argument.

    International Labour Office [ILO]

    WORLD OF WORK. 1996 Sep-Oct; (17):12-3.

    According to an International Labor Organization (ILO) study, approximately 130,000 children work in India's hand-knotted carpet industry. In one-loom enterprises, children comprise 14% of all weavers; in businesses with five or more looms, this rate increases to 33%. India's Factories Act, which applies costly health, safety, and labor regulations to larger firms, has led to a proliferation of cottage industries. The finding that children are more likely to work on low-quality rather than highest-quality carpets refutes the "nimble fingers" argument used by apologists of child labor. Although child and adult weavers have similar productivity, children earn less while apprentices than trained weavers and serve to depress wages throughout the industry. According to ILO estimates, replacing the 22% of the work force currently occupied by children with adults would cause wages to rise by about 5%. The overall savings in production costs from the use of child labor are very small when compared to the foreign retail price of the carpets, which is often four times the Indian export price. The ILO has urged an international approach to the elimination of child labor, in which all carpet-producing countries simultaneously implement a no-child-labor strategy to avoid placing any one country at a competitive disadvantage. Given the thousands of cottages where one or two carpets are woven per year, strategies such as labelling and regulation are likely to be ineffective. Solutions that address the general problems of poverty, while developing alternative sources of education and employment, are most likely to be effective in reducing child labor in countries such as India.
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  5. 5

    The United Nations on the social situation in Africa.

    United Nations. Secretary-General

    POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1991 Dec; 17(4):749-51.

    The report of the Secretary General of the UN on the social and economic conditions in Africa notes the worsening of conditions during 1986-90. Declines were apparent in education, health, nutrition, employment, and income. Government spending on health declined from 6% in 1985 to 5% in 1990 and on education from 15% to 11%. School enrollment declined from 77% in 1980 to 72% in 1987 and 70% in 1990. Primary school enrollments were also affected; i.e., only 65% of those enrolled in 1986 were still in school in 1990. Illiteracy rates dropped from 59.1% in 1985 to 52.7% in 1990, but the absolute numbers rose from 133.6 million to 138.8 million. Female illiteracy is very high at 66% compared to 46% for males. Government funding cuts have also had an impact on nutrition. There were 70 million more severely undernourished Africans in 1989 than in the mid 1970s (80 million), and 40% of preschool children suffered from acute protein energy deficiency, which is an increase of 25% from 1985. There was evidence of large numbers of underweight (26.6%), wasting (10.2%), and stunted children )53.3%). Diseases such as malaria, trypanosomiasis, and schistosomiasis, which had been under control or eradicated reappeared. The <5 years mortality rate remained stable and high at 182/1000. Improvements have been made in expansion of immunization, 22 countries achieved 75% immunization in 1990. There were fewer deaths from measles and diarrheal diseases. Maternal mortality remains high at 1120/1000. AIDS is a serious social problems. By 1991, 6 million people had been infected with HIV including 3 million women an increases are expected. 900,000 HIV-infected babies were born as of 1990. The number of AIDS orphans is increasing. Real wages declined by 30% during the 1980s, and unemployment grew an average of 10%/year between 1986-90. Formal sector employment stagnated, and informal sector employment showed tremendous increases. Substance farming became a survival strategy. Poverty has affected as much as 50% of the African population. Brain drain emigration has resulted in the loss of an estimated 50-60,000 people. For Africa, the future emphasis will be on efficacy, tough minded realism, self-reliance, and grassroots initiatives.
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  6. 6

    Analysis of health services expenditures in the Gambia: 1981-1991.

    Barth L; Makinen M

    Arlington, Virginia, John Snow, Inc. [JSI], Resources for Child Health Project [REACH], 1986 Jun. [3], 31, [11] p. (USAID Contract No. DPE-5927-C-00-5068-00)

    In the mid 1980s, the Government of The Gambia (GOTG) sought funds from the World Bank and other donors to restructure and strengthen its health system. Since the World Bank thought that recurrent cost obligations that the GOTG would find unacceptable should accompany the implementation of the National Health Project (NHP), this study was undertaken. The Italian Government agreed to fund US $9.8 million to NHP, most of the funds going to renovating and refurbishing the pediatric ward and central laboratory at Royal Victoria Hospital in Banjul. Trends in health sector expenditures showed that the devaluation of the dalasi continued to bring about shortfalls in nonsalary costs, especially in drugs and dressings. Therefore the GOTG must address the shortfalls before even considering expansion of the already inefficient health delivery system. It also needs to develop a cost recovery system for drugs which maintains a reliable source and adequate supplies of drugs in the proper amounts, effectively distributes the drugs, and manages the finances effectively. The GOTG should also develop the Ministry of Health's ability to coordinate donor support and to develop a process of budgeting, spending, and planning. The study team also recommended consolidating staff rather than expand staff in light of financial constraints. A flotation policy and exchange rates less favorable to the dalasi may grant the GOTG more access to exchange within the banking system.
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  7. 7

    [Statistical yearbook for Asia and the Pacific, 1984] Annuaire statistique pour l'Asie et le Pacifique, 1984.

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

    Bangkok, Thailand, U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1986. xxviii, 630 p. (ST/ESCAP/340.)

    The 17th edition of this statistical yearbook includes data on population, manpower, national accounts, agriculture, industry, energy, consumption, transport and communications, internal trade, external trade, wages, prices, expenditures, finance, and social statistics for the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) region as a whole as well as for Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, China, Cook Islands, Democratic Kampuchea, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kiribati, Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Pacific Islands, Pakistan, Papu New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam. An appendix contains data on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Population statistics include population size, crude live birth and death rates, infant mortality rate, crude marriage rate, crude divorce rate, gross reproduction rate, net reproduction rate, population density, age-sex composition, live birth rates by maternal age, death rates by age and sex, economically active population, life expentancy, and survivors at specific ages. Social statistics cover school enrollment by level, scientists and technicians, mass communications, medical facilities, causes of death, life insurance, co-operatives, damages from disasters and accidents, and housing.
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  8. 8

    Investing in people: the economics of population quality.

    Schultz TW

    Berkeley, Calif./London, England, University of California Press, 1981. xii, 173 p. (In series: Royer Lectures)

    This work, intended for a general as well as professional audience, argues that the acquired abilities of people including education, experience, skills, and health, are basic in achieving economic progress in the developing world. The 1st section examines the phenomenon of poverty in the developing world and stresses the contributions of human capital to productivity and human welfare in the lower income countries. Possible investments in human quality are surveyed, and theoretical and empirical observations concerning education and health are presented. A separate chapter assesses the role of higher education in developing countries, arguing that although governments in many countries impair the role of higher education, achievements have been substantial in a number of them. The next section examined economic consequences of the increases in the value of time that occur with development. A discussion of methodological and conceptual difficulties in measuring the value of time is included. The final section analyzes some serious economic distortions that result from government policies in developed as well as developing countries and that prevent the potential economic productivity of the poor from being realized. Distortions in the school systems of large cities, in allocation of funds for research, and in various aspects of life in developing countries that are affected by the international donor community are examined. Some implications of the findings are suggested in a brief concluding chapter.
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