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  1. 1

    [Women and reproductive rights: reflection and the fight for a new society] Mujeres y derechos reproductivos: reflexion y lucha para una nueva sociedad.

    Zurutuza C

    In: Cumbres, consensos y despues. Seminario Regional "Los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres en las Conferencias Mundiales". / Reuniao de cupula, consensos e depois. Seminario Regional "Os Direitos Humanos de Mulheres nas Conferencias Mundiais", edited by Roxana Vasquez Sotelo. Lima, Peru, Comite de America Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer [CLADEM], 1996 Nov. 69-111.

    This examination of women and reproductive rights begins by assessing competing definitions of reproductive rights and scrutinizing documents from the UN world conferences and other international instruments that affirm unquestioned and unconditional protection of reproductive rights. The existence of the documents does not guarantee respect for reproductive rights, and much remains to be done to assure their universal observance. Past population policies implemented by national governments that have violated reproductive rights are then surveyed. Contributions of the women’s movement to the political debate about reproductive rights are examined; feminist thought influenced both the study of reproductive rights and their ultimate recognition as human rights. The women’s movement has sought to claim sexuality as an integral part of affective life, to decouple it from reproduction and to construct an identity for women not exclusively based on reproduction. Against the argument that these are purely private concerns, feminists launched the slogan “the personal is political”. Reproductive rights might be defined as the power to make informed decisions regarding family size, the raising and education of children, gynecological health, and sexual activity, and the resources to put the decisions into practice safely and effectively. Issues that remain unsettled are then discussed, beginning with questions about the scope and concept of reproductive rights. Specific themes in debate are discussed, including new technologies for infertility, formation of families by homosexuals, mental health and reproductive rights, and induced abortion. The final section discusses the need for mechanisms to mediate between social arrangements and individual decisions in order to help individuals exercise their rights of all kinds.
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  2. 2

    [The human rights of women: the road crossed] Los derechos humanos de las mujeres: el camino recorrido.

    Chiarotti S

    In: Cumbres, consensos y despues. Seminario Regional "Los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres en las Conferencias Mundiales". / Reuniao de cupula, consensos e depois. Seminario Regional "Os Direitos Humanos de Mulheres nas Conferencias Mundiais", edited by Roxana Vasquez Sotelo. Lima, Peru, Comite de America Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer [CLADEM], 1996 Nov. 13-40.

    Progress is assessed in recognition of the human rights of women in the UN conferences from the 1992 Environment and Development Conference to the 1995 Conference on Women. General observations are first offered on all the conferences, including language issues (failure to provide simultaneous translations, use of gender-exclusive constructions), the prevalence of middle-class, urban, educated white women from the northern hemisphere, and the limited resources and weak mechanisms for implementing platforms and plans of action. A frequent tendency was observed to view women as a separate, often secondary “problem”, while concerns of men are seen as problems of all humanity. Two of the conferences advanced in defining inequality as the problem; it is one thing to speak of poverty or illiteracy, another to speak of poor women or illiterate women. The first style recognizes the problem as societal. The conference texts assume a human model that is male, white, adult, and western. Analysis of the contents of the various declarations begins with an examination of conceptual advances in human rights of women, such as reaffirmation that the rights and basic freedoms of women are part of universal human rights not subject to historical or cultural tradition. The meaning of equality and the practical consequences of defining it in different ways are than discussed. Other sections examine the mechanisms and resources for implementing the declarations of each of the conferences, compare international advances with national realities, and examine the coexistence of normative advances with actual retrogression. Ongoing debates concerning differences among women from developed and developing countries and universality vs. cultural relativism are described.
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  3. 3

    [Highlights, consensuses and afterwards. Regional Seminar on "The Human Rights of Women in the World Conferences"] Cumbres, consensos y despues. Seminario Regional "Los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres en las Conferencias Mundiales". Reuniao de cupula, consensos e depois. Seminario Regional "Os Direitos Humanos de Mulheres nas Conferencias Mundiais".

    Vasquez Sotelo R

    Lima, Peru, Comite de America Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer [CLADEM], 1996 Nov. 218, 214 p.

    The Second Regional Seminar of the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM) was held in Lima in April 1996 on the theme of the human rights of women in the five UN international conferences from the 1992 environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro to the 1995 Beijing conference on women. Evaluation of advances achieved in the conferences was organized around the six priority interests identified by CLADEM in 1992 as the basic themes for women in the region: citizenship, sexual and reproductive rights, violence and peace, development, ethno-racial perspectives, and the environment. The work opens with reflections on the five conferences, with examination of the place of women in the structure of each conference, whether gender inclusive language was used, conceptual advances in the human rights of women, limitations of the paradigm of equality, mechanisms and resources for implementation of the various Declarations, international achievements and national realities, north-south differences, universality and cultural relativity, and challenges for the next millennium. Six presentations follow on citizenship of women as a challenge for the democracies of the region, sexual and reproductive rights, the struggle against gender violence and advances in international instruments, ethno-racial perspectives, gender and the economic rights of women, and women and the environment. Each presentation assessed progress over the course of the five international conferences, and each includes commentaries from two representatives of organizations in the region whose activities were related to the theme. The final section identifies points that should be considered and possible strategies in each of the six areas.
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  4. 4

    We need a mechanism to report abuses of women's human rights.

    Facio A

    WOMEN'S HEALTH JOURNAL. 1996; (3):49-52.

    This article discusses the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This convention is the only instrument protecting the human rights of women at the international level. However, even if the convention was the best possible women's human rights documentation, there was no mechanism for reporting the abuses. The women's movement has long been pressing for the approval of the mechanism like the Optional Protocol, because they believe that the Protocol would fulfill the need in allowing the individual and collective accusations of human rights abuses. It means that a woman or a group of women can go to the committee and denounce an action as discriminatory. The committee can only receive reports and make recommendations, whereas having a Protocol would allow the committee to direct complaints, be able to investigate them, and make more specific recommendations. Those countries ratifying the CEDAW don't automatically agree to the Protocol, thus it is the country's discretion to either comply with the Protocol or not. There are also those who are against the Protocol and claim ironically that an Optional Protocol for Political and Civil rights already exists. But such mechanisms do not work for women's rights. What is most needed now is to lobby all national delegations to push the 5th Commission of the United Nations' General Assembly to approve the budget for the protocol.
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  5. 5

    Advancement of women: Argentina, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Marshall Islands, Philippines and Portugal: draft resolution. Violence against women migrant workers.

    United Nations. General Assembly

    [Unpublished] 1996 Nov 5. 4 p. (A/C.3/51/L.17)

    This UN resolution opens by recalling previous resolutions about violence against women migrant workers, the conclusions of world conferences, and the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights that all emphasize the importance of protecting the human rights of vulnerable groups. The resolution also notes that large numbers of women cross international borders seeking work and that both sending and receiving states benefit from this activity. The resolution expresses concern about continued acts of violence taken by employers against women migrant workers and notes that some receiving states have taken measures to alleviate the plight of these women. The resolution acknowledges the report of the Secretary-General on violence against women migrant workers and a 1996 expert meeting held in the Philippines. In accord with the UN's determination to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, the resolution encourages Member States to enact protective legislation; periodically review the implementation of this legislation to ensure its effectiveness; consider adopting legislative sanctions against intermediaries who exploit women migrant workers; conduct regular consultations to identify problems; and sign, ratify, or accede to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the 1926 Slavery Convention. The resolution also recommends ways the UN community can address this problem.
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  6. 6

    Health services for women at the milk posts. Meeting the needs: Mexico.

    FORUM. 1996 Dec; 12(2):7-8.

    Community milk distribution posts are places where poor families with children under age 12 years can buy milk at subsidized prices. The centers are run by a social service agency called Liconsa and are located in marginalized neighborhoods around Mexico City. MEXFAM, the International Planned Parenthood Federation affiliate in Mexico, offers health services to women through 25 of these centers. Women who visit milk centers can therefore conveniently have their blood pressure, weight, and height measured; receive vaccines, parasite treatment, diabetes screening, and family planning information; and obtain contraceptive pills, injectables, and condoms while they pick up their milk. Counselors are on site. Referrals for other health services and contraceptive methods are made to the MEXFAM Community Clinic and MEXFAM's Medical Services Center as needed. Each site provides services to approximately 250 women.
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  7. 7

    Pride of the Maya -- basic education project for Mayan girls in bilingual and bicultural manners.

    JICA NEWSLETTER. 1996 Nov; 6(4):7.

    Girls Education Project, a two-year program sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), seeks to address the educational needs of Mayan girls in rural Guatemala. The program is being implemented under the framework of the Japan-US Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspectives. Preliminary fieldwork revealed the importance of ensuring that entire communities, including teachers and parents, appreciate the human right of rural girls to a basic education. The project team will conduct three-day workshops in each of the four pilot states in 1997 to discuss teaching methods, materials, and curricula to promote girls' participation and improve their achievement levels. Also planned is a three-day national seminar involving governmental officials and representatives from the public and private sectors, nongovernmental organizations, professional groups, universities, and ethnic and cultural groups. The bilingual/bicultural method selected for the intervention seeks to implement basic education for Mayan girls in both Spanish and the four main Mayan languages. Another focus is to encourage the students to maintain pride in their cultural heritage.
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  8. 8

    Reproductive health programs supported by USAID: a progress report on implementing the Cairo Program of Action.

    United States. Agency for International Development [USAID]. Center for Population, Health and Nutrition

    [Washington, D.C.], USAID, 1996 May. [3], 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.
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