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Female genital mutilation as an issue of gender disparity in the 21st century: Leveraging opportunities to reverse current trends.
Ethiopian Medical Journal. 2016 Jul; 54(3):107-108.Add to my documents.
Lancet. 2016 Nov 26; 388(10060):2579.Add to my documents.
Response to 'WHO classification of FGM omission and failure to recognise some women's vulnerability to cosmetic vaginal surgery'
Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 2017 Feb 24; 1.Add to my documents.
Contraception. 2011 Oct; 84(4):339-41.This editorial focuses on a strategy to expand contraceptive coverage through the development of a numerical International Statistical Classifications of Diseases (ICD) code for "unwanted fertility." It explains how this strategy would work, how to make the strategy happen through a revision process, and defining unwanted fertility as a medical problem. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Integration of human rights of women and the gender perspective: Violence against women. Letter dated 16 May 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.
[New York, New York], Economic and Social Council, 2003 Jun 12. 3 p. (E/CN.4/2004/G/3)I wish to refer to Addendum 1 to your report to the 59th session of the Commission on Human Rights containing an analysis of developments in the area of violence against women at the international, regional and national level, and to provide the following additional information regarding the entry on Bhutan, with a request that these be reflected in the final report. Most national studies on gender show that Bhutan is relatively "gender-balanced" and that there is no overt gender discrimination. Bhutanese women enjoy freedom and equality in most spheres of life. In view of the general overall equality of women and men, no legislation explicitly prohibits discrimination against women. (excerpt)
[Geneva, Switzerland], United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [OHCHR], 2003. 8 p. (E/CN.4/RES/2003/45)Reaffirming that discrimination on the basis of sex is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international human rights instruments, and that its elimination is an integral part of efforts towards the elimination of violence against women. Reaffirming the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/23) and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993. Recalling all its previous resolutions on the elimination of violence against women, in particular its resolution 1994/45 of 4 March 1994, in which it decided to appoint a special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences. (excerpt)
Beijing betrayed. Women worldwide report that governments have failed to turn the Platform into Action.
New York, New York, Women's Environment and Development Organization [WEDO], 2005. 207 p.Beijing Betrayed is the fifth global monitoring report published by the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) assessing governments' progress in implementing the commitments they made to the world's women at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 1995. Beijing Betrayed brings together the diverse voices of women in some 150 countries in subregions across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean and West Asia to influence the United Nations 10 Year Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This report presents women's realities - their concerns, experiences, perspectives and analyses - in the implementation process and contrasts sharply with the more formal and often abstract reports governments have presented. The reports presented here are a testimony to women as agents of change and give us cause for celebration. They show that women advocates everywhere have stepped up their activities since Beijing using the Platform for Action and other key global policy instruments to push governments into taking action. In every region of the world, women have taken the lead in crafting legislation and conducting public awareness activities to promote women's human rights, peace, and sustainable development. (excerpt)
Forced Migration Review. 2007 Dec; (29):42-44.The international community has been mandated to mainstream gender into humanitarian response ever since the landmark Beijing conference in 1995. The current humanitarian reform process provides unique opportunities to accelerate this integration. Taking gender issues into consideration in planning and implementing emergency responses is not only a question of protecting the human rights of the persons affected. It is also a means to make emergency aid more effective. It is thus natural that ensuring gender-sensitive responses should be at the heart of humanitarian reform. Gender has been identified as a crosscutting issue to be mainstreamed into the Cluster Approach. The IASC Task Force on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance has been transformed into an IASC Sub-Working Group (as of December 2006), expanding its mandate to become more operational. (excerpt)
Development and Change. 2007 Sep; 38(5):843-864.This article examines the initial response by national and international agencies to gender issues during the aftermath of the Maldives tsunami, arguing that it was, in general, inadequate. Some agencies took a gender blind approach, ignoring different impacts on men and women, as well as the effects of complex gender relations on relief and recovery efforts. Other agencies paid greater attention to gender relations in their response but tended to focus exclusively on the universal category of the 'vulnerable woman' requiring special assistance, whilst at the same time ignoring men's vulnerabilities. This article argues that such language entrenched women as victims, excluding them from leadership and decision-making roles and as such served to reinforce and re-inscribe women's trauma. It is suggested that it is partly because of the nature of international bureaucracies and the fact that this disaster drew foreign 'experts' from around the world that the response neglected or over-simplified gender issues. (author's)
Is gender justice a priority for the UN and what more is needed for a coordinated institutional approach?
[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 7 p.The challenge for us in the United Nations system is how to work with our international and local partners to undertake national reconstruction using a human rights based approach, to enable a transition to rule of rights, not a continuation of rule of abuse. We must develop a common approach to ensure that war-torn societies are rebuilt in such a way that nondiscrimination, and a total respect for rights, particularly those of girls and women, can be used to develop constitutions, legal frameworks, justice and security systems underpinned by the primacy of equal enjoyment of rights. UNICEF is currently covering a range of activities from the overall umbrella of child protection, including issues of child soldiers and DDR, mine action, juvenile justice, and international accountability for crimes against children to broader humanitarian survival issues such as health, nutrition and education. With its rights-based approach to policy development and programme implementation, UNICEF is strategicallyplaced to uphold the pre-eminence of the rights of women and girls and to work with partners to address gender justice issues at field level. (excerpt)
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2007 Nov; 99(2):157-161.National and international courts and tribunals are increasingly ruling that although states may aim to deter unlawful abortion by criminal penalties, they bear a parallel duty to inform physicians and patients of when abortion is lawful. The fear is that women are unjustly denied safe medical procedures to which they are legally entitled, because without such information physicians are deterred from involvement. With particular attention to the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Constitutional Court of Colombia, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, and the US Supreme Court, decisions are explained that show the responsibility of states to make rights to legal abortion transparent. Litigants are persuading judges to apply rights to reproductive health and human rights to require states' explanations of when abortion is lawful, and governments are increasingly inspired to publicize regulations or guidelines on when abortion will attract neither police nor prosecutors' scrutiny. (author's)
Lancet. 2007 Sep 22; 370(9592):1032-1033.Cost-effectiveness analysis, as referenced by Davide Mauri and Nikolaos Polyzos, constitutes one of several sources of information considered by policymakers in developing and developed worlds in making decisions about the optimum efficient use of health-care resources. The WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health has suggested that interventions costing less than three times a country's per capita gross domestic product per disability-adjusted life year gained can be regarded as good value, and analysts have equivalently applied this threshold to analyses that use quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Preliminary results from a cost-effectiveness analysis of vaccination with quadrivalent HPV 6/11/16/18 vaccine in Mexico suggest a cost/QALY ratio well below this threshold in that country. Previous analyses in developed world settings have consistently shown that vaccination of girls and young women has a cost-effectiveness ratio within the range typically regarded as cost-effective. In countrieswith the fewest resources, direct assistance and public-private partnerships can help deliver needed medicines to the population at or below development costs-eg, the ivermectin donation for river blindness. Marc Arbyn states that if the cases of vaccine-type-related disease are subtracted from disease due to all types, there are a larger number of cases in women who received vaccine than in those who received placebo. This subtraction assumes that the subset of disease cases due to vaccine HPV types and the subset of cases due to non-vaccine HPV types are mutually exclusive, which is not the case. Coinfections with vaccine and non-vaccine types are common. In the presence of coinfection, the effect of such a subtraction is to ignore the presence of non-vaccine HPV types in disease where a vaccine-type HPV has also been detected. The effect of the subtraction is to preferentially attribute co-infected disease cases only to the vaccine HPV types. Individuals in the placebo group are more likely to have their non-vaccine type-related disease discounted in this way. Owing to the high efficacy of the vaccine, individuals in the vaccine group have less vaccine-type-related disease, and so those in the vaccine group have fewer such coinfection cases. To illustrate this point, an analysis of the numbers of individuals with disease due to vaccine and non-vaccine HPV types in the intention-to-treat population of protocols 013 and 015 is presented in the figure. The parts shaded blue would be the result of subtraction, similar to Arbyn's subtraction. However, the total numbers of cases of disease related to non-vaccine HPV types are 226+56=282 cases in the vaccine group and 193+106=299 cases in the placebo group. There is not an excess of cases caused by non-vaccine HPV types in the vaccine group. (full text)
Third World Quarterly. 2007 Jun; 28(4):751-773.The achievement of women's equality is an elusive goal, especially in developing economies, where states have been unable or unwilling to protect and promote women's human rights and gender equality. Many argue that globalisation has heightened gender inequality. One response to this crisis is the United Nations corporate citizenship initiative: the Global Compact. This paper argues that the Global Compact has a strong gender equality mandate, which has not been fulfilled. The paper advances a number of reasons why this may be the case, including the lack of women's participation at many levels, the pervasive nature of women's inequality and the fact it may not be in the interests of Global Compact signatories to address this inequality. Despite the limitations of this voluntary initiative, it does have some potential to effect positive change. However, unless the pervasive and continued violation of women's human rights is addressed by the Global Compact, the claim that it is a viable new form ofglobal governance for addressing major social and economic problems is severely weakened. (author's)
Lancet. 2007 May 26; 369(9575):1789-1790.Although pelvic organ prolapse is a significant problem in affluent countries, the situation in developing countries is far worse. This is mainly a result of high fertility with early marriage and childbearing, many vaginal deliveries, and in certain countries such as Nepal, frequent heavy lifting. In Nepal, fertility until recently was very high and most deliveries take place at home, with only 14% in a health facility and less than 3% by caesarean section. In developing countries, the extent and effects of morbidity associated with pelvic organ prolapse are seldom acknowledged, because of patients' embarrassment. However, studies in Nepal, supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), have begun to identify the suffering of women with this disorder. Findings indicate that 10% of women have pelvic organ prolapse, of whom about half require operative management (30.9% with stage II, 12.6% with stage III, and 1.4% with stage IV or procidentia). Women report difficulty in sitting (82%), walking (79%), and lifting (89%), all of which affect their acceptance as full family and community members. The social consequences of prolapse are substantial, and include physical and emotional isolation, abandonment, divorce, ridicule, low self esteem, abuse, lack of economic support, and domestic violence. In Nepal, UNFPA is supporting efforts to identify women with pelvic organ prolapse through reproductive health camps and to contract gynecologists to treat these women at district hospitals. We suggest that more attention should be given to acknowledging the profound consequences of uterine organ prolapse and establishing programmes in developing countries to prevent and manage this frequently severely debilitating condition. (full text)
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)
Paris, France, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development [OECD], Development Assistance Committee, Network on Gender Equality, 2006. 14 p. (DCD/DAC/GEN(2006)1)This paper is based on an earlier one presented in Nairobi, Kenya in January 2006 to the Joint Meeting of the UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality. This version has been re-oriented and updated for consideration during meetings of the DAC Network on Gender Equality and the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness in Paris in early July 2006. This paper will focus particularly on the aid macro policy environment, especially how to ensure that a gender perspective influences the manner in which key issues on aid effectiveness are framed and understood. It does not deal in detail with aid effectiveness implementation at field level, but provides some illustrations where relevant to the overall policy context. (author's)
Washington, D.C., Action Aid, 2007. 76 p.In response to the growing body of evidence on violence and HIV&AIDS, and in response to calls by human rights advocates for effective action on these issues, international institutions and national governments have articulated a concern to address gender-based violence, including within the context of HIV&AIDS. Little is known, however, about what is actually being done to address these issues in policies, programming and funding, and whether the efforts that are underway are truly based on the human rights and health agenda advocated for so long by women's movements throughout the world. In order to better understand the level of resources - in policy, programming and funding -- committed to this deadly intersection, a report was commissioned by an international coalition of organizations working on women's human rights, development, health and HIV& AIDS. This report, "Show Us the Money: is violence against women on the HIV&AIDS donor agenda?" analyses the policies, programming and funding patterns of the four largest public donors to HIV&AIDS: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/US), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the World Bank, and UNAIDS (the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS). The report is the first step in an effort by this coalition to monitor the policies, programmes, and funding streams of international agencies and national governments, and to hold these agencies accountable to basic health and human rights objectives. (excerpt)
Development and Change. 2007 Mar; 38(2):169-199.This article situates the politics of gender in Afghanistan in the nexus of global and local influences that shape the policy agenda of post-Taliban reconstruction. Three sets of factors that define the parameters of current efforts at securing gender justice are analysed: a troubled history of state-society relations; the profound social transformations brought about by years of prolonged conflict; and the process of institution-building under way since the Bonn Agreement in 2001. This evolving institutional framework opens up a new field of contestation between the agenda of international donor agencies, an aid-dependent government and diverse political factions, some with conservative Islamist platforms. At the grassroots, the dynamics of gendered disadvantage, the erosion of local livelihoods, the criminalization of the economy and insecurity at the hands of armed groups combine seamlessly to produce extreme forms of female vulnerability. The ways in which these contradictory influences play out in the context of a fluid process of political settlement will be decisive in determining prospects for the future. (author's)
Gender mainstreaming since Beijing: a review of success and limitations in international institutions.
Gender and Development. 2005 Jul; 13(2):11-22.The Beijing Platform for Action prioritised gender mainstreaming as the mechanism to achieve gender equality. A decade later, policy makers and practitioners are debating whether this has succeeded or failed. This article aims to contribute to this debate by reviewing progress made to date, through a review of gender mainstreaming policies in international development institutions. Categorising progress into three stages - adoption of terminology, putting a policy into place, and implementation - the article argues that while most institutions have put gender mainstreaming policies in place, implementation remains inconsistent. Most important of all, the outcomes and impact of the implementation of gender mainstreaming in terms of gender equality remain largely unknown, with implications for the next decade?s strategies. (author's)
Lancet. 2007 Apr 14; 369(9569):1240-1243.Every year, 11 million mothers and newborn infants die, and a further 4 million infants are stillborn. Much is known about the efficacy of single interventions to increase survival under well-managed conditions, much less about how to integrate programmes at scale in poor populations. Funds for maternal, neonatal, and child health are limited, and research is needed to clarify the most cost-effective solutions. In 2003, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?s grand challenges in global health focused on scientific and technological solutions to prevent, treat, and cure diseases of the developing world. The disappointing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 to reduce child and maternal mortality led us to do a similar exercise to engage creative minds from development and health professionals-ie, those who work in the front line-about how research might accelerate progress towards meeting these MDGs. (excerpt)
Linking women's human rights and the MDGs: an agenda for 2005 from the UK Gender and Development Network.
Gender and Development. 2005 Mar; 13(1):79-93.The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a potentially powerful tool for progress on development and human rights. Women?s human rights activists should recognise and build on the political will mobilised around the MDGs. However, the MDGs reflect problems in the dominant development approach. They seek to use women in their existing social roles to ?deliver? other aims, and do not address the need to eradicate gender inequality, resulting in lack of commitment to address key issues for women, including gender-based violence. There are further problems with the MDGs? indicators, analytical approach, and accountability mechanisms. The MDGs should be reframed as human rights obligations. To this end, links should be fostered between the 2005 reviews of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and progress on the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs. (author's)
Gender and Development. 2005 Mar; 13(1):94-104.This article explores ways in which the MDGs can be made to work to promote women?s equality and empowerment. Drawn from the author?s extensive experience of feminist activism in the Caribbean region, it discusses strategies to improve the MDGs. Overall, as a feminist I think of the MDGs as a Major Distraction Gimmick - a distraction from the much more important Platforms for Action from the UN conferences of the 1990s, in Rio 1992 (Environment), Vienna 1993 (Human Rights), Cairo 1994 (Population), Copenhagen (Social Development) and Beijing 1995 (Women), Istanbul 1996 (Habitats), and Rome 1997 (Food), on which the MDGs are based. But despite believing this, I think it worthwhile to join other activists within women?s movements who are currently developing strategies to try to ensure that the MDGs can be made to work to promote women?s equality and empowerment. (excerpt)
Gender and Development. 2005 Mar; 13(1):67-78.This article examines the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from a women?s human rights perspective. It outlines some of the practical ways in which human rights principles, and the provisions set out in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in particular, can be used to ensure that the MDGs are met in a way that respects and promotes gender equality and women?s human rights. (author's)
PLoS Medicine. 2006 Apr; 3(4):e211.One of the most unsettling images for newcomers to many parts of Africa is the sight of undernourished women bearing unfeasibly large vessels of water long distances over rough terrain to supply the needs of their families. A sense of outrage that anyone should have to live like this in the 21st century forms the basis of the humanitarian imperative that drives development programs, especially those that focus on basic needs such as access to safe water. When such a program reduces from three hours to 15 minutes the time that women spend fetching water each day, surely it can be described as a success, without the need for any "scientific" assessment of what has been achieved? In this issue of PLoS Medicine, we publish a study that did assess such a program. Mhairi Gibson and Ruth Mace (DOI: 10.1371/journal. pmed.0030087)--from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom--compared villages in Ethiopia that benefited from a tapped water supply with other villages that did not. Outcome measures included the nutritional status of women and children, mortality rates, and birth rates. There were a number of surprising findings, most notably the large increase in birthrate in the villages where the water supply intervention took place. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2006 Oct 21; 368(9545):1393.Two UN reports were published last week that the world cannot afford to ignore. Launched two days apart, the in-depth study of violence against women, and the independent expert report on violence against children, are the result of a collaborative effort from various institutions, organisations, and individuals and give the most detailed global information to date about violence against women and children. Both reports leave no doubt that such violence is intolerable, unjustifiable, and a violation of human rights. The reports summarise existing research on the extent, prevalence, and wide-reaching consequences of all types of violence against women and children, and demonstrate how violence cuts across culture, class, education, income, and ethnic origin. Violence against women--physical, sexual, psychological, and economic--is rampant in every country. At least one in three women experience violence at some stage in their lives, with intimate partner violence reported as the most common. A study which interviewed over 24 000 women in ten countries showed that the lifetime prevalence of physical or sexual partner violence, or both, varied from 15% to 71%. Over 75% of women physically or sexually abused reported a partner as a culprit. (excerpt)