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Third World Quarterly. 2007 Jul; 28(5):871-886.In 2006 the Secretary General's High-Level Panel on UN Systemwide Coherence called for a dynamic new gender entity led by an Under-Secretary General. The follow-up to this recommendation is still ongoing, leaving the UN gender machinery in its current fragmented and weakened state. This enduring dilemma has its origins in bureaucratic incoherence, lack of senior management support for UN gender equality efforts, the failure of member states to support the Beijing Platform for Action, the impact of conservative regimes, and recent US dominance over the UN reform process. Is a new women's agency, with increased authority, new staffing and significantly increased resources possible, or should transnational feminists seek to establish an autonomous women's agency outside the UN system to provide better leadership for gender equality efforts world-wide? (author's)
New York, New York, IWHC, 2003. 11 p.Internationally and domestically, in our courts and in our schools, at the UN and on Capitol Hill, it is no exaggeration to say that the White House is conducting a stealth war against women. This war has devastating consequences for social and economic development, democracy, and human rights—and its effects will be felt by women and girls worldwide. (excerpt)
MEDIA DEVELOPMENT. 1995; 42(2):38-9.In preparation for the 1995 World Conference on Women, women of the Latin American Information Agency prepared a statement for the UN about the importance of communications and information in the contemporary world and the role of women in the media. The statement includes the following specific suggestions: 1) that the UN promote the democratization of communications with a gender focus, 2) that women be assured access to new communications technologies that empower their communicational capacity, 3) that steps be taken to ensure that media content projects a positive and nondiscriminatory image of women, and 4) that guidelines be drawn up to promote labor equality between the genders and a greater presence of women in decision-making positions in the media.
ANNUAL REVIEW OF POPULATION LAW. 1988; 15:79.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)
The impact of changes on Latin American and Caribbean women: education, knowledge and demographic trends. Discussion note.
[Unpublished] 1992. Presented at the International Conference on Population and Development [ICPD], 1994, Expert Group Meeting on Population and Women, Gaborone, Botswana, June 22-26, 1992. 9 p. (ESD/P/ICPD.1994/EG.III/DN.10)Current theoretical and conceptual frameworks have included broader notions of social welfare and the quality of life within development discussions. Gender issues have been more easily integrated into development models. Modernization, as advances in economic conditions and the growth of technology, has rapidly changed societies. Although democracy has been included as a given for human development, a wider gap has appeared between the rich and poor. In Latin America expectations were set up for the social mobility of women and young people, when the debt crisis hit. Future models of women in development must eliminate the gender dichotomies and offer perspectives that explain the contradictions. A proposal was offered for achieving international competitiveness by changing production patterns, using innovation to achieve efficiency and equity, and creating possibilities for international cooperation. Gender equity means redistribution within socioeconomic groups and involvement of women in development. In Latin America, importance was placed on how women were integrated into development. Flexibility and innovation will be the goals of education, which should be compatible with the past traditional role women have carried. Specific measures will need to be introduced for maternal and child care, prenatal care, and flexible working hours. Child care must be part of a coordinated effort among public, private, business, and community sectors. The domestic burden of women will need to be lightened. Reproduction rights in Latin America and the Caribbean must be secured not only for women but also for men. Advances in medicine have reduced risk in childbirth, raised life expectancies, and provided options for women to control unwanted fertility. Excess female mortality due to preventable causes was highest among poor women. Access to education has increased but without a companion increase in labor market opportunity or income levels. In 1977, ECLAC adopted a Regional Plan of Action for the Integration of Women into Latin American and Caribbean Development which recognized women's vulnerability and the need for comprehensive, periodic assessments.
Final reports, 98th and 99th meetings of the Executive Committee of the Pan American Health Organization, Washington, D.C., 27 September 1986 and 22-26 June 1987. XXXII meeting of the Directing Council of PAHO, XXXIX meeting, WHO Regional Committee for the Americas, Washington, D.C., 21-25 September 1987.
Washington, D.C., 1987. 136 p. (Official Document No. 219)The 98th and 99th Meetings of the Executive Committee of the Pan American Health Organization, the XXXII Meeting of the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization, and the XXXIX Meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) Committee for the Americas were all held in Washington, D.C., between 9/86 and 9/87. This document contains the final reports of these conferences, including lists of all participants, and complete texts of all resolutions. The 99th Meeting resulted in Resolution VI, urging member countries to implement plans to control Aedes albopictus implicated in dengue, yellow fever, and california encephalitis. Resolution VII on Women, Health and Development, urging member nations to improve public and private comprehensive health care for women, and calling for increased participation of women in professional posts and representative roles within the organization; Resolution VIII, on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination; and Resolution XII on AIDS Prevention and Control, which called for a WHO Special Program on AIDS and urged member countries to increase efforts at prevention and control, to provide information to WHO, and to permit free international travel for infected people. The XXXII Meeting contained Resolution IX on Women, Health and Development; Resolution X on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination; Resolution XI on the Coordination of Social Security and Public Health Institutions; and Resolution XII on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the Americas.
New York, UNFPA, 1980 Jul. 77 p.An overview of the examples of project types funded by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) are presented along with a list of approved projects on women, population development, and a partial list of pending projects with particular reference to women. In choosing these examples of the UNFPA supported projects, the primary objective was to provide the reader with an indication of the wide range of project activities supported by the Fund. The following projects are reviewed: maternal and child health care and family planning; special programs for women; basic population data collection; population dynamics; formulation and evaluation of population policies and programs; implementation of policies and programs; communication and education; and related population and development activities in the 1980's. The UNFPA is increasingly working to include women in the development and strengthening of maternal and child health family planning systems--their management and evaluation, and including the development and application of fertility regulation methods. It is helping countries find ways and means for the reeducation of men and women on the importance of shared responsibility and authority in family planning decisions. Examples of approved maternal and child health care and family planning projects in Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Somalia, and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen are briefly described. To ensure increased participation of women and their contribution to population/development related activities, the Fund created a new category of special programs for women. Programs in this category are generally classified as "status of women."
Further promotion and encouragement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the question of the programme and methods of work of the commission. Alternative approaches and ways and means within the United Nations system for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences. Addendum : Report on the mission of the Special Rapporteur to Brazil on the issue of domestic violence (15-26 July 1996).
[Unpublished] 1997 Jan 21 28 p. (E/CN.4/1997/47/Add.2)This document reprints the report of a July 1996 visit to Brazil of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to conduct an in-depth study of the issue of domestic violence. The introduction notes that this report is a case study meant to complement a previous report on violence against women in the family and that the investigation was conducted at the invitation of the Brazilian government. The first part of the report presents three case histories of women victims of domestic violence. The second session sketches the nature of the problem, and the third section describes the existing international, regional, and national legislative framework dealing with domestic violence. Section 4 describes the role of the police in combating domestic violence and their importance as the first refuge sought by women victims as well as issues pertinent to the existence since 1985 of women's police stations. The fifth section reviews pertinent health policy and notes the shortage of shelters for battered women. Section 6 provides an overview of how the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government have responded to the problem, and the seventh section discusses actions taken by nongovernmental organizations and women's groups. The final section contains conclusions and specific recommendations for appropriate actions at the international, regional, national, and local levels.
MULTILATERAL TREATIES DEPOSITED WITH THE SECRETARY-GENERAL. 1995; 161-2.The following countries ratified, acceded to, or succeeded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1993: a) Armenia, 13 September 1993; b) Bahamas, 6 October 1993; c) Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1 September 1993 (suc.); d) Czech Republic, 22 February 1993 (suc.); e) Gambia, 16 April 1993 (rat.); f) India, 9 July 1993 (rat.); g) Maldives, 1 July 1993; h) Morocco, 21 June 1993; i) Slovakia, 28 May 1993 (suc.); j) Suriname, 1 March 1993; and k) Tajikistan, 26 October 1993. Under this Convention, the parties agree to take steps to eliminate discrimination against women in the political, social, economic, and cultural areas of life and with respect to education, employment, health care, and the family, among other things. The Convention also creates a committee to review individual reports that individual countries are required to prepare on their progress in implementing the Convention.
Reproductive health programs supported by USAID: a progress report on implementing the Cairo Program of Action.
[Washington, D.C.], USAID, 1996 May. , 20 p.This report details progress made by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in implementing the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. The report contains an introduction and an overview of the USAID program. USAID reproductive health programs have: 1) provided leadership for a supportive policy environment through multilateral, regional, and country-level initiatives; 2) developed innovative techniques for operations, biomedical, social science research and for evaluation; and 3) implemented reproductive health programs that promote access and quality in family planning and other reproductive health services, maternal health, women's nutrition, postabortion care, breast feeding, sexually transmitted disease and HIV prevention and control, integrated reproductive health programs, programs and services for youth, prevention of such harmful practices as female genital mutilation, male involvement, reproductive health for refugees and displaced people, and involvement of women in the design and management of programs. USAID programs to advance girls' and women's education and empowerment have forwarded women's legal and political rights, increased access to credit, and developed integrated programs for women. Priority challenges and directions for the future include: 1) determining the feasibility, costs, and effectiveness of reproductive health interventions; 2) improving understanding of reproductive health behavior; 3) continuing development of service delivery strategies; and 4) mobilizing resources for reproductive health.
Statement by the Honorable Timothy E. Wirth, United States Representative to the Second Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Population and Development, at the Preparatory Meeting, May 11, 1993. Press release.
[Unpublished] 1993. 5 p.The US representative to the second preparatory committee for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Timothy E. Wirth, opened his address to the committee by stating how honored he was to represent the US and congratulated Dr. Fred Sai on his election to the chairmanship. He also congratulated UN organizers for laying the groundwork for deliberations at the meeting and subsequent ones before the ICPD. Much remains to be done in the 15 months before the conference, but much progress has already been made. Mr. Wirth recognizes the critical role of nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and experts in preparations for Cairo, and notes that NGOs made outstanding contributions during the Earth Summit. NGO participation must be encouraged in preparation for Cairo, for such organizations will liven deliberations in Cairo and beyond. Mr. Wirth describes policy developments in the US since President Bill Clinton took office. The developments reflect the new determination to help lead and be part of a renewed global effort to address population problems. More importantly, the US is committed to helping promote international consensus around the world for stabilizing global population growth through a comprehensive approach to the rights and needs of women, to the environment, and to development. Mr. Wirth discusses the broader perspective in US policy, women's health and status, population and environment, migration, and new opportunities through the Cairo conference.
[Unpublished] 1995. Presented at the 4th World Conference on Women, Beijing, China, September 4-15, 1995. 4 p.In her remarks to the Fourth World Conference on Women (WCW), US Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright, the Permanent Representative to the UN, noted that the delegates had come to Beijing to pursue economic and social progress for all people, to promote and protect human rights and stress that women's rights are human rights, to stop violence against women, to empower women in economic and political arenas, to strengthen families, to assure equal access for women to education and health care, and to attack poverty. Albright said that the real progress in reaching these goals would come as a result of commitments made at the WCW. While the US has been a leader in efforts to promote equal rights for women, barriers still exist, and the Clinton administration, in its determination to overcome them, has made the following commitments: 1) establishing a White House Council on Women, 2) funding a $1.6 billion initiative against domestic violence, 3) improving the health status of women, 4) improving conditions for women in the workplace, 5) increasing access to financial credit for women, 6) promoting and recognizing the role of women in development, and 7) continuing to speak out in support of the human rights of all people. Albright ended her remarks by declaring that it is time to turn talk into action and unleash the full capacity for production, accomplishment, and the enrichment of life that is inherent in the women of the world.
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton remarks for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, September 5, 1995.
[Unpublished] 1995. Presented at the 4th World Conference on Women, Beijing, China, September 4-15, 1995. 5 p.On September 5, 1995, US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the Fourth World Conference on Women (WCW). In her remarks, Clinton evoked the images of women throughout the world who spend time together discussing their children and their families and whose experiences go unnoticed and voices unheard as they serve as primary caretakers for most of the world's children and elderly and as they struggle to serve their communities and support their families. Clinton noted that most women around the world must work both inside and outside the home and that women will never gain full dignity until their human rights are respected and protected. Clinton called for an end to the silence that has surrounded abuses of women such as female infanticide, being sold into prostitution, being raped in warfare, dying from domestic violence, undergoing genital mutilation, and having no control over reproduction. She found it indefensible that many women who wished to participate in the conference were unable to attend or prohibited from full participation. By improving the lives of women, Clinton said we can improve the lives of children and families and create a peaceful, prosperous world.
[Unpublished] . iv, 112 p.This US government report opens with a general description of the changes which have taken place in the composition and life circumstances of US women between the 1980 and 1990 census. The status of US women is then described under the main headings of equality, development, and peace. Equality is determined in terms of the number of women in elective office, in appointive office, and employed in federal agencies; the relationship of women to the judicial system; women decision-makers in the private sector; and governmental and nongovernmental actions and mechanisms to advance the status of women. Development is explored through a consideration of poverty, aging, teenage pregnancy, welfare reform, housing, health, education, employment status, wages and benefits, deterring sexual harassment, access to vocational resources, and the environment. The discussion of peace centers on violence against women, women in the military, refugee resettlement, and advocacy for peace.
FORUM. 1994 Jun; 10(1):12-3.APROFAM, the International Planned Parenthood Federation affiliate in Guatemala, is working to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality in the country (24/100,000 live births) not only by expanding reproductive health services but also through improvements in women's social conditions. At present, only 34% of Guatemalans have easy access to health care services. Since just 22% of labor, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and abortion complications confer significant mortality. Key to improving the health services available to poor women is greater incorporation of women into the development process, which will in turn produce a societal view of women as a resource rather than a liability. Examples of APROFAM programs aimed at improving the health of women and children through an educational, community-based approach are: Woman, for the Defense of Women's Human Rights, a network of women's organizations that serves as an organizing force for improvements in women's status; Teacher to Teacher, a program that trains teachers to educate women in remote rural areas; Support System and Legal Advice, which offers consultations for women; Groups of Family Development, which involve local women in a range of health and development activities; and Dressmaking School, which trains women to earn an income as well as provides education on maternal-child health care promotion.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHALLENGES. 1994; (2):42-4.INPPARES, the International Planned Parenthood Federation affiliate in Peru, has provided family planning and other services to the Peruvian population since 1976. The organization concentrates upon interventions targeted to women of low socioeconomic status. One of the group's most important strategies has been to distribute contraceptives at the community level in rural and peri-urban areas of the country through a network of centers managed by promoters. These promoters are virtually all female. The organization in 1993 supplied 812 distribution centers. Promoters and their supervisors have received training in contraception, basic data recording, community work, and related topics. INPPARES, however, suspected that the quality of the project would be improved if promoters and supervisors were trained about the role of women in the community and their rights and identity as women. The personnel would then be able to better understand the role of contraception and reproductive health in women's lives. To that end, INPPARES in 1992-93 developed a project in coordination with the Manuela Ramos Association, a Peruvian women's organization. A questionnaire was given to forty promoters on issues related to women's roles, values, attitudes, the place of women in society and the family, family planning, sexual relations, and decision making. Their responses pointed to a real need to provide promoters and supervisors with more information through workshops on women in Peruvian society, women's identity and roles, women's sexual rights, and the quality of care in service provision. Four pamphlets were drafted from a seminar of fifty supervisors from both organizations to be used in a series of twelve workshops for 256 promoters. Post-intervention evaluation of the original forty participants confirm the significant effectiveness of both subjects covered and materials used in achieving desired project goals. Four workshops were subsequently held in which project results were presented to 261 promoters. Promoters and supervisors are now using flipcharts and pamphlets in their training activities.
[Breastfeeding: a right of the mother and child] Aleitamento materno: um direito da mae e da crianca.
REVISTA PAULISTA DE MEDICINA. 1987 Mar-Apr; 105(2):103-7.The laws concerning the protection of working women who nurse and the outcome of the breast feeding program at the state university of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, are discussed. The International Labor Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919 with the objective of improving the working conditions and lives of workers worldwide. At a 1952 convention, the right of women to interrupt work to nurse was accepted. In 1975, the declaration on the equal opportunity and treatment of working women was passed. ILO's recommendation was adopted in 30 countries which allowed working woman to nurse for 30 minutes or more. In Italy and Bulgaria, 60 minutes is assigned for nursing. A 1923 Brazilian law decreed that nurseries must be near the work place where mothers could nurse regularly. ILO's 1952 convention was ratified in 1966 in Brazil, and, in 1986, a paid nursery scheme was passed. UNICAMP has been dealing with nursing programs since 1975, focusing on education, breastfeeding techniques, presentations, and group discussions. The mothers were monitored until weaning or until the child reached 9 months of age. The program had a higher impact among women >25 and married, than among women >30 with less education. In a follow-up program, 100 women 7 months pregnant received prenatal assistance and were asked to fill out a questionnaire. 76 complied: 28 nursed their present child but not the previous one, and 22 nursed their first child (50% for less than 6 months). A 1977 survey in the city of Paulinia on breast feeding duration of children up to 2 years of age showed that 12.1% of 610 were never nursed. 57% were exclusively breast fed in the first month, but only 18% were nursed by the 6th month. In 1982, an infant center was inaugurated by UNICAMP where a child could nurse 5 times a day up to 6 months of age. In the first 4 years, 334 children attended and were nursed for 12 months, although 8.8 months was the expected duration, and the previous child had been nursed for only 6 months.
In: Multilateral treaties, index and current status, 8th cumulative suppl., compiled by M.J. Bowman and D.J. Harris. Nottingham, England, University of Nottingham Treaty Centre, 1991. 128.On 22 February 1990, Paraguay ratified this convention guaranteeing the political rights of women.
NEW YORK TIMES. 1992 Apr 30; A12.The UN Population Fund's urgent plea for a sustained and concerted program to curb population growth in developing countries is reported. The reasons were to reduce poverty and hunger and to protect the earth's resources. The Fund released current world population figures which place 1992 population at 5.48 billion and project growth to 10 billion in 2050 with a leveling at 11.6 billion in 2150. These figures are 1 billion beyond projections made in 1980. The current rate of growth is at 97 million/year until 2000, 90 million/year until 2025, and 61 million/year until 2050. This rate of growth is the fastest the world has ever experienced. 34% of the rise will occur in Africa, and 97% in developing countries. The projected consequence of this growth is a continued migration to cities, increased hunger and starvation and malnutrition, and an increased pressure on the world's food, water, and other natural resources. This effect amounts to almost crisis conditions which places the world at great risk for future ecological and economic catastrophe. Food production has already lagged behind population growth in 69 of 102 developing countries between 1978-89. An urgent new campaign is called for to promote smaller families, better access to contraception, and better education and health care for women in developing countries. Women's status needs to be raised to allow for women being given property rights and improved access to labor markets. If the effort is successful, the population growth within the next decade could be reduced by 1.5-2 billion. Currently at least 300 million women do no have access to safe and reliable forms of contraception. The number of very poor has risen from 944 million in 1970 to 1.1 billion in 1985. The former strategy of urbanization and rising incomes have been found to be an unnecessary precondition for reducing family size. Poor countries, such as Sri Lanka and Thailand, have nonetheless shown sharp fertility declines with appropriate population policies, e.g., fertility dropped from 6.3 children/women in 1965 to 2.2 children/women in 1987. There have also been similar declines in fertility in China, Cuba, Indonesia, Tunisia and other poor countries. The agency's current budget is $225 million a year, and has been functioning without US aid since the 1976 ban over abortions in China.
[Integration of women in development. Panel-forum] Integracion de la mujer al desarrollo. Panel-foro.
[Guatemala City], Guatemala, APROFAM, 1989. 53 p.This document contains papers from a 1989 forum Integration of Women in Development presented in Guatemala City under the sponsorship of the Association for Family Welfare (APROFAM), the National Office for Women, the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance, and the Interamerican Commission on Women. The 1st paper, on application of the strategies of Nairobi and their impact on the current situation of women, is followed by 4 others that examine women and health, employment, education, and culture. The analysis of application of the strategies of Nairobi begins with a review of the creation and history of the UN, which is intended to provide perspective on the Decade for Women. A resolution of the UN General Assembly declared 1976-85 the Decade for Women, with the themes of equality, development, and peace and the subthemes of employment, health, and education. The 1985 conference in Nairobi and its papers serve as a mark of reference for monitoring the progress of women at the national and international levels. Programs for promoting the role of women in development of the UN Development Program, the UN Fund for Development of Women, the UN Population Fund, and UNICEF are described. It is clear that, despite widespread agreement with the strategies of Nairobi, the question of how best to structure practical programs for impoverished women in development remains to be resolved. The discussion of women and health focuses on the relationship between socioeconomic factors and health, the special health needs of fertile-aged women and their impact on infant and child health, and the role of women in maintaining and improving the health of the entire population. The section on women and employment traces the roots of unequal access to employment for women in Guatemala, assesses the significance of employment from various socioeconomic and human perspectives, presents some data on female employment in Guatemala, and makes some recommendations for future policies and interventions to promote greater employment opportunities for Guatemalan women. The section on women and education points out that the average Guatemalan has had 2.9 years of schooling and then discusses the repercussions of educational status on development. The final section, on women and culture, briefly examines different definitions of culture and the role of culture as a factor in development, and assesses the participation of women in cultural development in Guatemala.
Socio-economic development and fertility decline: an application of the Easterlin synthesis approach to data from the World Fertility Survey: Colombia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1991. ix, 115 p. (ST/ESA/SER.R/101)The relationship between fertility decline and development is explored for Colombia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. The study applies Richard Easterlin and Eileen Crimmins; theoretical and empirical approach to analyzing World Fertility Survey (WFS) data in a comparative context. The paper specifically questions the strengths and weaknesses of the Easterlin-Crimmins framework when applied to developing country data, and what the framework implies about comparative fertility in these countries. 3 stages in all, an analyst 1st decomposes a couple's final number of children ever born through an intermediate variables framework. Stage 2 emphasized understanding the determinants of contraceptive use, while stage 3 explains the remaining stage-1 and stage-2 variables. A model linking the supply of children, the demand for children, and the cost of contraceptive regulation results. Stage 1 results were promising, stage 2 results were less encouraging, while stage 3 revealed a theoretically incomplete approach employing empirically weak WFS data. While the Easterlin-Crimmins approach may be promising, econometric, theoretical, and data quality and collection improvements are necessary. Among stage-3 variables open to manipulation, higher socioeconomic status was associated with delayed age at 1st marriage, lower infant and child death rates, lower numbers of children desired, increased knowledge of contraception, and reduced levels of breastfeeding. Apart from regional differences, the educational and occupational roles of women in the countries studied were of primary importance in understanding differential fertility.
INTER-AMERICAN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT. BULLETIN. 1991 Jan; 8(1):1-3.Calling for renewed activity to ensure equality between men and women in Latin America, the author designates the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women as the legal standard for equality. Although all Latin American constitutions include provisions of equal rights for men and women, these countries still adhere to a patriarchal society. Cultural forces leave women in a subordinate position within the family, the workplace, education, and politics. Not only does the current economic crisis make it difficult to fund programs to improve the social conditions of women, many politicians have no sincere commitment to doing so. Nonetheless, all Latin American Countries have ratified the Convention (adopted in 1979), which recognizes the fundamental rights of women and provides a basis for international law. This principle calls for absolute equality between men and women, and requires that the signatories work towards achieving that goal. The signatories must incorporate the principle of equality in all government sectors and in all development plans. The Convention also requires governments to create a special office or ministry of women's affairs. This office is in charge of monitoring and promoting change to achieve the following: equal representation in government offices, equal participation in the workforce (including executive positions), an end to social and cultural stereotypes, and a guarantee of reproductive rights. Although many obstacles remain in the way of achieving equality, the Convention can serve as a tool for achieving that goal.
IPPF MEDICAL BULLETIN. 1989 Apr; 23(2):1-2.This article discusses the need for family planning (FP) as part of the development process, applauds its successes and rallies continued momentum of the FP movement. 500,000 women die each year from pregnancy- or labor-related conditions, and 10s of millions of women suffer pregnancy-related illnesses and impairments that undermine their social and economic productivity. Moreover, the 4 major factors that lead to high-risk pregnancies, namely, becoming pregnant before the age of 20, after the age of 35, after 4 or more pregnancies, and < 2 years after an earlier pregnancy, all reveal the need for FP. These tragedies could be avoided by assuring better nutrition, primary health care for all, good antenatal attention and proper facilities and help in childbirth, access to good obstetric care in emergency situations, and universally available FP services. FP organizations must empower women with the knowledge of FP and the means to put it into practice. Developing countries, such as China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico, in addition to affluent industrialized countries have made strides in FP with the help of such organizations as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). IPPF has helped to motivate large numbers of men and women to determine their ideal family size. It has provided the means for them to reach such goals and has ensured that acceptance of FP has been on a voluntary basis. IPPF has also advised and cajoled governments into becoming involved in FP. In the future, national strategies must produce the building blocks for better policies to help women become more responsible for their lives. The education of women will be vital to achieving this objective as well as other aspects of development.
In: La Mujer Migrante, Segundo Seminario Latinoamericano, organizado por la Oficina Regional del Servicio Social Internacional y la Oficina Argentina de S.S.I., Buenos Aires, 9-12 de Septiembre de 1.985. Caracas, Venezuela, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, 1986. 47-54.Southern South America has principally produced rather than received refugees in the past 2 decades, although at present Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia receive refugees. Refugee women are primarily urban and in many cases are obliged to abandon their countries of origin because of their relationships with politically militant men. Forced migration differs from economically oriented migration because external factors rather than the wishes of the individual are the motivating factor. Exile implies a loss of social power. Forced emigration of women occurs in the context of a slow process of incorporation of women into the social, political, and economic life of the nations. The need to include women in the development process in active roles has been increasingly recognized since World War II. The 1975 UN World Conference in Mexico City in observance of the International Year of Women, the UN Decade for Women, the 1980 World Conference on the Decade of Women held in Copenhagen, the 1985 round table on refugee women held in Geneva by the UN High Commission for Refugees, and the 1985 World Conference in Nairobi to evaluate the achievements of the UN Decade for Women all were intended to promote a fuller participation of women in all aspects of life. The need for refugee women to assume new roles and new functions within their families is often a cause of rupture of marital relationships. The processes of exile, adjustment to the new country, and return to the country of origin are all destabilizing. A study of 36 Chilean women who returned after periods of exile averaging 5 years, primarily in Europe, indicated that many were troubled by their status as foreigners and the need to seek new channels of participation and communication in the country of exile. The UN High Commission for Refugees attempts to help refugee women by assisting them in their immediate needs for food and housing, and by promoting their longterm integration into the country of asylum and their eventual return to their homelands. Voluntary agencies implement the programs of the High Commission, which are intended to help the refugee woman achieve self-sufficiency.
New York, New York, United Nations, Department of International Economic and Social Affairs [DIESA], Development Fund for Women, 1985. 195 p. (United Nations Publication ST/ESA/159)This report covers the activities of the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade for Women--currently called the United Nations Development Fund for Women--during the period 1978-1983. The objectives of the projects included regional and national strategies for the promotion of development in developing countries. They dealt with poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, self-reliance, health and nutrition; they promoted employment and self-sufficiency and created import-substitution products; they included agricultural production, human resource development through education and training, and institution-building. The assessment affirmed that women do participate in the development process but that they participate under unequal conditions. The findings of the assessment were also in agreement with the view of the General Assembly that changes in the family division of labor are needed in order to secure the participation of women on more equitable terms. Another lesson drawn from the projects that provides guidance for future activities is that projects should preferably be multi-faceted, encompassing human development needs as well as technical subjects. The cultural and political environments in which projects were implemented and the traditions of societies, when properly taken into account, contributed to the positive impact of projects. An obstacle faced in project implementation in several countries was the outdated and thus inadequate preparation of extension workers to cope with the multi-faceted work of women. Institutions were critical elements of project viability. The existence of local and national women's organizations and agencies proved to be a necessary condition for project effectiveness. The Fund reached policy levels from several directions. Although the effectiveness of these approaches varies both by country and by region, an interim judgment is that effective field projects may be the best approach.