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    Girls and women: a UNICEF development priority.

    Black M

    New York, New York, UNICEF, 1993. 32, [1] p.

    UNICEF sees women in the whole range of their interconnected mothering, family support, community, and socioeconomic roles. An essential precondition to improved social well-being of women is their empowerment. UNICEF's policy is that women's development must be integrated with the socioeconomic mainstream. Gender-based inequalities are targets for affirmative action. UNICEF recognizes that women's low status is decided at conception. It is taking initiatives to bring about major changes in policies and attitudes so the disadvantages females face are not passed to their children, particularly their daughters. In the mid-1980s, UNICEF conducted a series of studies in the Middle East and North Africa on the cultural attitudes emphasizing the value of sons against daughters, which are responsible for the lower survival rate of girls. UNICEF is a strong advocate for the girl child. UNICEF calls for elimination of female genital mutilation. It sponsors studies on the role of sexually transmitted diseases in perinatal deaths. UNICEF supports HIV/AIDS prevention activities, often conducted by local nongovernmental organizations. It supports maternal health and nutrition projects in developing countries. UNICEF promotes breast feeding. UNICEF supports income generation projects for women. It provides guarantees for loans taken out by women in some developing countries. UNICEF provides funds for technologies that reduce the workload of women and girls, such as handpumps and soak-pit latrines. UNICEF has increased its efforts to increase girls' enrollment in schools. It supports adult education for women. UNICEF supports day care programs, such as that in Malawi. In Somalia, UNICEF promotes a nationwide network of women's groups to help postwar service reconstruction and the rebirth of civil society. It is committed to its policy of stressing community participation.
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