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Gender and child protection policies: Where do UNHCR's partners stand? A report by the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children.
New York, New York, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, 2006 Jul. 15 p.The purpose of this study is to gauge what kind of policies, tools and accountability mechanisms are in place at partner organizations with respect to gender equality and child/youth protection. The aim is to find out if and what specific policies exist and the level of partner interaction with UNHCR to implement AGDM through information sharing and training. This report is not meant to evaluate UNHCR partners' policies and tools. Rather, it is meant to make a contribution to UNHCR and partners' work by documenting progress and good practice as well as obstacles and challenges they face in mainstreaming. As pertinent, these survey findings are to be taken into consideration within the overall context of strengthening UNHCR's multi-year AGDM global rollout by enhancing its impact through the promotion of relevant policy and accountability mechanisms development with its key partners. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, General Assembly, 2006 Aug 25. 23 p. (A/61/292)The present report provides a review and update of the programme and activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) for 2005. The report tracks overall progress and highlights concrete results in the implementation of its multi-year funding framework 2004-2007 during the year under review. The report concludes with a set of recommendations on how the development and organizational effectiveness of UNIFEM can be further strengthened. (author's)
Reliability of self reported form of female genital mutilation and WHO classification: cross sectional study.
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2006 Jul 15; 333(7559):124.The objective was to assess the reliability of self reported form of female genital mutilation (FGM) and to compare the extent of cutting verified by clinical examination with the corresponding World Health Organization classification. Design: Cross sectional study. Settings: One paediatric hospital and one gynaecological outpatient clinic in Khartoum, Sudan, 2003-4. Participants: 255 girls aged 4-9 and 282 women aged 17-35. Main outcome measures: The women's reports of FGM the actual anatomical extent of the mutilation, and the corresponding types according to the WHO classification. All girls and women reported to have undergone FGM had this verified by genital inspection. None of those who said they had not undergone FGM were found to have it. Many said to have undergone "sunna circumcision" (excision of prepuce and part or all of clitoris, equivalent to WHO type I) had a form of FGM extending beyond the clitoris (10/23 (43%) girls and 20/35 (57%) women). Of those who said they had undergone this form, nine girls (39%) and 19 women (54%) actually had WHO type III (infibulation and excision of part or all of external genitalia). The anatomical extent of forms classified as WHO type III varies widely. In 12/32 girls (38%) and 27/245 women (11%) classified as having WHO type III, the labia majora were not involved. Thus there is a substantial overlap, in an anatomical sense, between WHO types II and III. The reliability of reported form of FGM is low. There is considerable under-reporting of the extent. The WHO classification fails to relate the defined forms to the severity of the operation. It is important to be aware of these aspects in the conduct and interpretation of epidemiological and clinical studies. WHO should revise its classification. (author's)
UN Chronicle. 2005 Dec;  p..A teenage girl screams in terror as she is beaten up by a man twice her size. Trapped in a squalid basement in a foreign country, bruised and bleeding, she is at the complete mercy of her captors. Having been repeatedly raped and forced into prostitution, the continued psychological torture has pushed her to the depths of despair. A victim of human trafficking-the forced movement of people across international borders--her story of sex slavery would ordinarily be considered by many too shocking to bear contemplation. However, Human Trafficking, a Lifetime Channel television mini-series that aired in the United States in October 2005, has put a human face to the countless women and children who are victims of the cruelest and most degrading treatment imaginable. Due to its subject matter, the mini-series is not easy to watch. The brutal and dehumanizing treatment that the victims of sex slavery are forced to endure is challenging to viewers, largely because it usually remains invisible and ignored. Producing such a television drama gives the issue the visibility needed to bring about change. Lifetime Channel also launched a comprehensive advocacy campaign in conjunction with the mini-series to draw attention to the problem and encourage people to do what they can to stop it. (excerpt)
Female circumcision, AIDS discrimination to be monitored - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
UN Chronicle. 1990 Jun; 27(2): p..The eradication of female circumcision and avoidance of discrimination against women victims of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were the subjects of two general recommendations adopted at the ninth annual session of States Parties to the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The 100 States Parties were asked to report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women-the 23-member body which monitors compliance with the instrument-on measures taken to eliminate female circumcision which, it stated, has "serious health and other consequences for women and children". (excerpt)
Journal of Cultural Diversity. 2003 Spring; 10(1):30-34.Female circumcision (FC), also known as female genital mutilation (FGM), is a procedure that involves partial or complete removal of external female genitalia. The definition given by the World's Health Organization (WHO) states that female circumcision "comprise all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons" (WHO, 1998, p.5). The United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Population Fund, and the WHO have jointly issued a statement that FC and FGM causes unacceptable harm and issued a call for the elimination of this practice worldwide. The WHO also contends that female circumcision is a "violation of internationally accepted rights" (WHO, p.1). Female circumcision is a widespread cultural practice and affects millions of young women. Issues related to female circumcision that are of special concern are health consequences, civil rights, cultural considerations, and legal and ethical aspects. The purpose of this paper is to address the incidence of FC and FGM, the historical background, the procedure, the medical complications and cultural considerations. Legal and ethical issues of FGM will also be discussed. (author's)
New York, New York, UNICEF, 2002 Apr. 15 p.Basic education is the right of every girl and boy. UNICEF is especially concerned about including children who are excluded from learning: those who are out of school, and those who are excluded while in school. Providing all children with access to schooling was the primary focus of the early drive towards Education For All (EFA) following the World Conference on Education For All in Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990. Progress has been made towards this goal. Primary-school enrolments have increased in all regions. However, of an estimated 700 million primary-school-aged children, roughly 120 million are still out of school today and the majority of these are girls. Ensuring access alone is not enough. The quality of education is also a significant issue, closely linked to the state of girls’ education. At the 2000 World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, 164 countries agreed to work for elimination of the gender gap in enrolment (gender parity) by the year 2005, and gender equality by 2015. We are nowhere near these goals. (author's)
Women and Environments International. 2003 Spring; (58-59):15-18.This article presents two interviews: One with Carolyn Reicher of Canadian Women for Women In Afghanistan; the other with Sahar Saba of the Revolutionary Afghani Women's Association [RAWA].
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2000. 24 p.This report covers the Beijing's 12 Critical Areas of Concern: women and poverty; education and training of women; women and health; violence against women; women and armed conflict; women and the economy; women in power and decision-making; institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women; human rights of women; women and the media; women and the environment; and the girl-child. It incorporates new and related objectives, drawn from practical experiences, for addressing women's needs and rights in a holistic and integrated way.
London, England, IPPF, 2001 Nov. 51 p.Globally, early and forced marriage probably represents the most prevalent form of the sexual abuse and exploitation of girls. Hidden behind the socially sanctioned cloak of marriage, under-age girls are deprived of their personal freedom, forced into non-consensual sex, exploitation of their labor and diminution of their educational development and individual life-choices. Furthermore, they are subject to life-threatening damage to their health by having to go through pregnancy and childbirth before their bodies are sufficiently mature to do so. In many cultures, financial transactions are the basis of the marriage agreement and girls are treated as a commodity item by their own families. In this perspective, the Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls was established. The Forum is a network of organizations mainly based in the UK but with international affiliates, sharing a vision of marriage as a sphere in which women and girls have inalienable rights. In this article, the Forum on Marriage and Rights of Women and Girls presented their recommendations in the international, national and community levels to address the abuse of children's human rights with regard to early marriage.
Guardian. 2002 Mar 8;  p..Of the 125 million uneducated children worldwide, two-thirds are noted to be girls, especially in poor countries. Thus, it is acknowledged that educating girls is one of the most effective weapons in the fight against global poverty. It is noted that the effect of women's literacy on her family's health and productivity is dramatic, which translates into increased productivity at the national level. According to a report from the World Bank released on International Women's Day in 2001, an increase of 1% in the share of women who complete secondary education is associated with a rise of 0.3% in per capita income, even in middle and higher income countries. In this perspective, education will be the first priority at G8 summit of world leaders in Canada. Furthermore, it will be the key topic for discussion at the UN financing for development conference in Mexico as well as at the World Bank spring meetings and at the UN children's summit.
[Project on the promotion of girls' schooling in a rural environment. Exploratory and regulatory evaluation. Preliminary version] Projet relatif a la promotion de la scolarisation de la fille en milieu rural. Evaluation exploratoire-regulatrice. Version preliminaire.
[Rabat], Morocco, Ministere de l'Education Nationale, 1996 Jun. 92,  p.A project to promote the formal education of rural girls was implemented during 1992-96 as part of a cooperative program between the government of Morocco and UNICEF. Destined to extend into 1998, the project aims to increase the net rates of school attendance among rural girls to 50%, 65%, and 80% in 1994, 1995, and 1996, respectively; to keep 80% of rural girls enrolled in school at least throughout the first cycle of basic education; and to promote literacy, especially among young girls and women. To achieve these goals, the project was developed around the 4 following axes: social mobilization to support the formal education of girls in rural areas, improving the supply of and demand for such education, teacher training, and community involvement in developing education programs for rural girls. Results are presented from the evaluation of a sample of 10 of the 17 provinces involved in the project. Results are presented upon the characteristics of surveyed populations, obstacles to educating girls in rural areas, social mobilization, improving the demand for and supply of formal education, teaching training, community involvement, and priority actions to promote the education of girls in rural areas. Recommendations are made before the final section of annexes of reference terms, tables of measures taken, data collection tools, and indicators of enrollment rates in the surveyed provinces.
WOMEN, LAW AND DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL BULLETIN. 1999 Summer; 1, 7.This article reports the effects of the Kosovo crisis on the lives of Albanian women. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Children's Fund stated cases of sexual harassment, torture, rape, trafficking, forced prostitution, discrimination, and exploitation of women and children refugees. One of the cases of rape was reported by the Los Angeles Times regarding a 13-year-old girl, Pranvera Lokaj, along with 20 other girls who experienced gang rape by Serb soldiers for several nights. When Lokaj returned home and narrated her story hoping for comfort, her father sent her to the Kosovo Liberation Army to escape shame from her family. The reason for this is that in an Albanian community, rape is a sensitive issue, which traumatized the rape victims leading them to lie about the crime than to be shunned by their families. Furthermore, Albanian women have also assumed a new role that being single mothers since their husbands are forcibly separated from them and killed.
User-friendly guide to health issues in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Fourth World Conference on Women, 4-15 September 1995).
[Geneva, Switzerland], World Health Organization [WHO], 1996. , 42 p.This guide was developed to bring together a systematic overview of issues on the health of girls and women as presented in the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women. The guide tries to highlight the most important areas for action for the health care sector, providing references to all relevant paragraphs in the original Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It is aimed mainly at international and intergovernmental organizations working together with nongovernmental organizations. Important areas of concern include women's right to health, reproductive and sexual health, violence against women, childhood and adolescence, female genital mutilation, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, other health problems affecting women, poverty and nutrition, workplace and environmental hazards, and women and armed conflict.
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.
In: Female circumcision: strategies to bring about change. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Female Circumcision, 13-16 June 1988, Mogadisho, Somalia, [compiled by] Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo [and] Somali Women's Democratic Organization. Rome, Italy, Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo, 1989. 129-32.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948. The provisions of that declaration have inspired many of the measures taken by the UN bodies to advance women's status. The issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) was considered in 1981 by the Human Rights Working Group on Slavery. That group considered information received from a nongovernmental organization on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children and recommended that the information be brought to the attention of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities decided in 1982 and 1984 that a study should be undertaken on all aspects of FGM and how the problem may be resolved. An interagency working group was subsequently commissioned to conduct the study. At its last session of 1989, the Commission on Human Rights asked the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to consider measures to be taken at the national and international levels to eradicate the practice of FGM, and to submit a report to the commission at its 46th session in 1990. The author also briefly describes UN actions with regard to protecting the rights of the child.
Integrating reproductive health including family planning and sexual health in community education programmes. Follow-up to ICPD: seventh ICEA conference.
UNFPA COUNTRY SUPPORT TEAM FOR EAST AND SOUTH-EAST ASIA NEWSLETTER. 1995 Aug; 3(2):10.Between July 30 and August 4, 1995, 538 people from 41 countries attended the Seventh International Community Education Association (ICEA) World Conference in Jomtien, Thailand. The National Education Commission, Ministry of Education, Government of Thailand, UNFPA, UNDP, and UNICEF jointly organized the seventh ICEA. The UNFPA's Executive Director sent a message to the participants informing them that the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action adopted ICEA's call for governments to expand access by girls and women to secondary and higher levels of education and training before the year 2015. UNFPA organized a double-session Workshop on Population Education with Special Reference to Reproductive Health, Girl Child and Adolescent Education. Issues addressed during the workshop included the need to reconceptualize population education and to integrate population education into community education programs with the help of UNFPA country offices, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, family planning, youth education, and contraceptive counseling. UNFPA also organized a subplenary session on Population, Health and Sustainable Development. This session reaffirmed ICPD's recommendations on achieving reproductive health and socioeconomic goals: education of the girl child, education and services for adolescents, increasing trend of HIV/AIDS transmission, maternal health and high maternal mortality, reproductive rights, and empowerment of women. The UNFPA Country Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the UNFPA Country Office for Thailand jointly held an exhibition of publications and activities at the conference.
New York, New York, UNICEF, Development Programmes for Women Unit, 1993. , 12 p.The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child provide a sound legal foundation for advocacy of the rights of women and female children. Throughout the world, girl children are the most vulnerable members of the community. Both conventions mandate that young girls receive protection from discrimination in access to health care, nutrition, education, and other opportunities. The children's rights convention establishes the child's right to life and the state's obligation to ensure child survival. The women's rights convention calls for the full and equal participation of women in all spheres of social and economic development.
New York, New York, United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], HIV and Development Programme, 1993 Nov. , 9,  p. (Issues Paper 12)UNDP's HIV and Development Programme has identified issues of the HIV epidemic that challenge accepted ways of understanding health and human development and demand new styles of competence and holistic responses. Societies have not yet understood that being a young women is an independent variable for HIV infection. Women are increasingly becoming infected with HIV and at a much younger age than men. The proportion of girls, female adolescents, and women in their early 20s infected with HIV is greater than that of older women. Researchers and public health specialists have known for years that many women have been infected with HIV, yet they remain silent about women and HIV. This report discusses young women, this silence, and the HIV epidemic and calls for effective, sustainable, and compassionate ways of responding to the urgency of the HIV epidemic, especially in the case of young women. It examines age as an independent variable for HIV infection and situational factors, and questions whether anatomy is destiny. An example of a situational factor is that nonconsensual, hurried, or frequent intercourse inhibits mucous production and relaxation of the vaginal musculature, both of which increase the probability of vaginal injury. An action agenda should be composed of challenges at every level (from the individual to the international level), a new reconceptualized research agenda, an examination of all factors contributing to susceptibility to HIV infection among young women, political will, and pressure for change. Other topics examined are breaking the silence, changing the operational research agenda, sanctuaries, sanctions, safety, restructuring gender, and the circle of the dance.
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.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1991. xiv, 120 p. (Social Statistics and Indicators Series K No. 8; ST/ESA/STAT/SER.K/8)5 UN agencies worked together to develop this statistical source book to generate awareness of women's status, to guide policy, to stimulate action, and to monitor progress toward improvements. The data clearly show that obvious differences between the worlds of men and women are women's role as childbearer and their almost complete responsibility for family care and household management. Overall, women have gained more control over their reproduction, but their responsibility to their family's survival and their own increased. Women tend to be the providers of last resort for families and themselves, often in hostile conditions. Women have more access to economic opportunities and accept greater economic roles, yet their economic employment often consists of subsistence agriculture and services with low productivity, is separate from men's work, and unequal to men's work. Economists do not consider much of the work women do as having any economic value so they do not even measure it. The beginning of each chapter states the core messages in 4-5 sentences. Each chapter consists of text accompanied by charts, tables, and/or regional stories. The 1st chapter covers women, families, and households. The 2nd chapter addresses the public life and leadership of women. Education and training dominate chapter 3. Health and childbearing are the topics of chapter 4 while housing, settlements, and the environment comprise chapter 5. The book concludes with a chapter on women's employment and the economy. The annexes include strategies for the advancement of women decided upon in Nairobi, Kenya in 1985, the text of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and geographical groupings of countries and areas. During the 1990s, we must invest in women to realize equitable and sustainable development.