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Plan of action for the eradication of harmful traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa.
[Unpublished] 1987. 14 p.The traditional and harmful practices such as early marriage and pregnancy, female circumcision, nutritional taboos, inadequate child spacing, and unprotected delivery continue to be the reality for women in many African nations. These harmful traditional practices frequently result in permanent physical, psychological, and emotional changes for women, at times even death, yet little progress has been realized in abolishing these practices. At the Regional Seminar of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, held in Ethiopia during April 1987, guidelines were drawn by which national governments and local bodies along with international and regional organizations might take action to protect women from these unnecessary hazardous traditional practices. These guidelines constitute this "Plan of Action for the Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa." The plan should be implemented within a decade. These guidelines include both shortterm and longterm strategies. Actions to be taken in terms of the organizational machinery are outlined, covering both the national and regional levels and including special support and the use of the mass media. Guidelines are included for action to be taken in regard to childhood marriage and early pregnancy. These cover the areas of education -- both formal and nonformal -- measures to improve socioeconomic status and health, and enacting laws against childhood marriage and rape. In the area of female circumcision, the short term goal is to create awareness of the adverse medical, psychological, social and economic implications of female circumcision. The time frame for this goal is 24 months. The longterm goal is to eradicate female circumcision by 2000 and to restore dignity and respect to women and to raise their status in society. Also outlined are actions to be taken in terms of food prohibitions which affect mostly women and children, child spacing and delivery practices, and legislative and administrative measures. Women in the African region have a critical role to play both in the development of their countries and in the solution of problems arising from the practice of harmful traditions.
An evaluation of Pathfinder's early marriage education program in Indonesia, November-December 1984.
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Pathfinder Fund, 1986 Feb. 41 p. (Pathfinder Fund Working Papers No. 4)Indonesian government officials determined in the early 1970's that an increase in marriage age as well as in the use of contraceptives would be needed to reduce the country's growth rate. In 1974, the Marriage Law Reform Act increased the minimun marriageable age, but compliance was rare. In 1981, Pathfinder initiated a campaign to address this. The 1st objective was to educate influentials (e.g. religious leaders). The 2nd objective was to gather information and promote discussion of societal norms that lead to early marriage and childbearing. The underlying assumptions were that non-compliance arose from a lack of knowledge about the marriage law and that norms promoting early marriage and fertility were amenable to change. The program reviewed in this working paper covers 6 projects with 5 prominent Indonesian organizations--3 women's groups, a national public health association, and a branch of the Family Planning Coordinating Board. The activities began with national seminars to discuss objectives. National and local-level activities followed, ranging from the publication of a national bulletin to training marriage counselors. Women's groups incorporated the education program into their ongoing functions. Program effects were widespread. Evaluators' assessment in 1984 found that the controversial topic of adolescent fertility has been intensively discussed at national and local levels. Their recommendations include: focusing work on large-impact organizations, evaluation of certain projects, support for various projects, concentrating on key issues. The training project management should be integrated into Pathfinder's schedule. Studies should be performed to make sure this desin is not too ambitious. Baseline data should be incorporated. The 2-year approach should be extended to 5, since the impact of marriage age legislation will not be felt for several years.