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  1. 1

    Asking the right questions: Advancing an HIV research agenda for women and children.

    International AIDS Society [IAS]

    [Geneva, Switzerland], International AIDS Society, 2010 Mar. 5 p.

    Substantial progress has been made in expanding access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for adults and children living with HIV and preventing vertical transmission. However, the scale-up of ART programs has also drawn attention to a number of knowledge gaps related to clinical management and ART program delivery for women and children. This document includes 20 recommendations for expanding and improving responses to HIV-related challenges facing women and children worldwide.
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Research challenges to improve maternal and child survival.

    Costello A; Filippi V; Kubba T; Horton R

    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)
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  3. 3

    Implementing the reproductive health approach.

    Fathalla MF

    In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 24-46.

    The solemn commitment that was made in Cairo in 1994 to make reproductive health care universally available was a culmination of efforts made by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and all those concerned about a people-centred and human rights approach to population issues. The commitment posed important challenges to national governments and the international community, to policy makers, programme planners and service providers, and to the civil society at large. The role of UNFPA in building up the consensus for the reproductive health approach before Cairo had to continue after Cairo if the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) were to be achieved. UNFPA continues to be needed to strengthen the commitment, maintain the momentum, mobilize the required resources, and help national governments and the international community move from word to action, and from rhetoric to reality. Reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health, is now one of three major programme areas for UNFPA. During 1997, reproductive health accounted for over 60 per cent of total programme allocations by the Fund. (excerpt)
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  4. 4

    Report of the Global Action Against Female Genital Mutilation First Inter-Agency Working Group Meeting, Doral Inn Hotel, Lexington Avenue, New York, New York, 3-4 November 1994.

    Research Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women; Columbia University. Center for Population and Family Health [CPFH]

    [Unpublished] 1994. [2], 22, [40] p.

    The Global Action Against Female Genital Mutilation (GAAFGM) Project facilitates the Inter-Agency Working Group which held its first meeting in November 1994 in New York City. Participants were representatives from UN agencies, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies, private foundations, research and technical assistance organizations, and associates from Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. After the welcoming remarks, the director of the Reproductive Rights Project at Columbia University presented a paper entitled "Linking Health and Human Rights: Applying Evolving Concepts to FGM." The director of the GAAFGM Project then reviewed its policy and objectives. GAAFGM Project activities revolve around advocacy and policy, the information clearing house, epidemiological and behavior research, skill and counseling training, development of media messages, and fund-raising and subgranting. The director also presented basic facts about FGM. In-country experiences presented included Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. The Special Projects Director of Population Action International presented a paper entitled "Funding and Technical Assistance: Past Experiences and Future Opportunities, Challenges, Successes and Pitfalls in Funding for FGM." The director of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) shared PATH's experience of providing technical assistance in Nigeria and Kenya. The next topic discussed was developing policies and programs on FGM within international agencies, the examples being UNICEF and USAID. The report of this first meeting of the Inter-Agency Working Group provides summaries of FGM-related work of selected agencies (e.g., UNFPA and the Danish Development Aid Agency). At the conclusion of the meeting, participants decided on the next steps for the Inter-Agency Working Group. Based on the meeting's evaluations, GAAFGM learned what steps it needs to take next.
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  5. 5

    Women's needs and perspectives in reproductive health. Report of an African regional workshop, Nairobi, 24-26 November 1993.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Division of Family Health; World Health Organization [WHO]. Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction

    [Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, Division of Family Health, 1994. [3], 18 p. (WHO/FHE/HRP/94.1)

    In preparation for the Medical Women International Association's First Regional Congress for Africa and the Near East, an African regional workshop on reproductive health was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 1993. The workshop was organized around three themes: 1) methodologies for identifying women's needs, perspectives, and perceptions; 2) mechanisms for linking sociological and clinical research; and 3) use of research findings to empower women and change policies and practices. There was consensus that research on women's health should be action oriented, conducted with women's participation, and sensitive to the power imbalance inherent in women's experiences with the health care system. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were identified as useful methodologies for obtaining information on sensitive topics. Among the topics recommended for further research were barriers to quality health care for women, determinants of sexual behavior across the life cycle, the impact of men's attitudes and practice, the effect of female socialization on reproductive health, and the reproductive health of special groups such as refugees and street children.
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  6. 6

    Who benefits? Measuring the differential impact of new technologies.

    Mitter S

    In: Missing links: gender equity in science and technology for development, [compiled by] United Nations. Commission on Science and Technology for Development. Gender Working Group. Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre [IDRC], 1995. 219-42.

    This document (the 10th chapter in a UN Gender Working Group book on the overlay of science and technology, sustainable human development, and gender issues) highlights how new technologies are improving the quality and quantity of women's modern sector employment, identifies the gender differential effects of these technologies, explores the socioeconomic reasons for such differentials, and points out where policy-makers can intervene to redress gender imbalances. Discussion of the relevance and definition of new technologies includes a look at trade flows and technology transfer. Description of the impact of technological changes 1) considers whether biotechnology is a friend or enemy of women; 2) highlights the effects of computer-aided technology on automated manufacturing, the organization of work, and information technology in the service industries; and 3) looks at the telecommunication revolution and distant working as well as the relocation of data-entry jobs. After an assessment of women in the decision-making process, the chapter explores the impact of new technologies on small- and medium-sized enterprises, on labor standards, and on training for corporate jobs. Finally, the chapter offers a research agenda to guide policy-makers, outlines the role and concerns of UN agencies, and describes a new research initiative that is focusing on improving the advocacy skills of organizations of women workers by giving them access to key information.
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  7. 7

    Looking at health through women's eyes.

    Yoon SY

    In: Missing links: gender equity in science and technology for development, [compiled by] United Nations. Commission on Science and Technology for Development. Gender Working Group. Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre [IDRC], 1995. 129-57.

    This document (the sixth chapter in a UN Gender Working Group book on the overlay of science and technology [S&T], sustainable human development, and gender issues) considers health issues from women's viewpoint to highlight the fact that S&T has failed to guaranteed improved health for women. This failure is exemplified by the use of amniocentesis for sex selection that leads to abortion of female fetuses. The chapter explains why gender and health deserve consideration in the S&T debate by looking at women as victims of health care systems, the fact that women's contributions have been undervalued, and the failure of health research and statistics to treat gender as a scientific variable. The issues specific to national-level technology transfer are grouped for preliminary review into 1) women's access to health S&T, 2) the impact of S&T on gender equality, and 3) women's roles in the development of health S&T. After outlining the need for a national S&T policy across sectors, the chapter reviews global activities of such groups as the UN, women's nongovernmental organizations, and the World Health Organization to meet this challenge. Next, recommendations are offered for 1) strategic actions that focus on youth, build on previous successes, and emphasize IEC (information, education, and communication) and 2) research and development. It is concluded that women's right to health is a fundamental human right that, when achieved, will benefit entire societies.
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  8. 8

    Claiming and using indigenous knowledge.

    Appleton H; Fernandez ME; Hill CL; Quiroz C

    In: Missing links: gender equity in science and technology for development, [compiled by] United Nations. Commission on Science and Technology for Development. Gender Working Group. Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre [IDRC], 1995. 55-81.

    This document is the third chapter in a book complied by the UN Gender Working Group (GWG) that explores the overlay of science and technology (S&T), sustainable human development, and gender issues. This chapter addresses the nature of indigenous knowledge systems, their potential role in sustainable and equitable development, and possible strategies for promoting mutually beneficial exchanges between local and S&T knowledge systems. The introduction notes 1) that local knowledge science systems differ from modern S&T because they are managed by users of knowledge and are holistic, 2) gender roles lead to differentiation in the kind of local knowledge and skills acquired by women and by men, and 3) sustainable and equitable development depends upon full recognition and reinforcement of local knowledge systems. The chapter continues with an analysis of 1) gender, biodiversity, and new agrotechnologies; 2) gender and intellectual property rights, especially in regard to biotechnological developments based on local knowledge; and 3) the work of governments, universities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and local groups in the areas of S&T programs with women, general women's programs, and programs focused on indigenous knowledge (with an emphasis on research in gender and indigenous knowledge systems, women promoting diversity, the comparative advantage of indigenous knowledge, and the role of NGOs and information networks). Next, the chapter considers the work of the UN and its agencies through a review of documents containing S&T agreements; support for women's rights; and work in the areas of indigenous people, biodiversity, and intellectual property rights. The chapter ends by identifying areas of critical concern and research needs.
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  9. 9

    Key paths for science and technology. On the road to environmentally sustainable and equitable development.

    Kettel B

    In: Missing links: gender equity in science and technology for development, [compiled by] United Nations. Commission on Science and Technology for Development. Gender Working Group. Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre [IDRC], 1995. 27-53.

    This document is the second chapter in a book complied by the UN Gender Working Group (GWG) that explores the overlay of science and technology (S&T), sustainable human development, and gender issues. This chapter identifies key pathways for S&T research and policy formulation that will support women's environmental perceptions, needs, and interests. The introduction notes that women and men have different environmental needs and interests; that these differences are manifest in gender-based division of labor, access to resources, and knowledge systems; and that the emerging "gender and environments analysis" framework reveals the potentially negative effect on women, families, and the environment of S&T interventions geared towards men's needs and interests. This chapter, therefore, uses a gender and environment approach to reveal how issues of gender equity, environmental sustainability, and S&T for development overlap and to outline ways to create a gender-sensitive approach to the use of S&T in development interventions. After addressing the topics of 1) the invisibility of women in the development process, 2) discovering women and the environment, 3) the price of complacency and gender bias, and 4) shaping a gender-sensitive agenda for sustainable and equitable development, the chapter presents key policy themes and suggestions for future research in the areas of 1) the environment and women's health; 2) alleviating women's poverty; 3) women, technology, and entrepreneurship; 4) environmental literacy and access to information; and 5) national-level participation and decision-making. The chapter then reviews the role of UN agreements and other key documents and ends by reiterating the importance of following the five key pathways identified above to achieve gender sensitive S&T research and policy formation.
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  10. 10

    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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  11. 11

    Women's perspectives.

    Cottingham J

    In: Annual technical report, 1992, [of the] World Health Organization [WHO]. Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction. Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1993. 285-9. (WHO/HRP/ATR/92/93)

    One goal of the World Health Organization's Special Programme of Research, Development, and Research Training in Human Reproduction has been to broaden communication with women's groups in order to ensure that 1) women's perspectives are integrated into research and institution-strengthening activities and 2) that women's perspectives are represented in the process of broadening contraceptive choice and establishing research priorities in reproductive health on the national level. Based on recommendations received at a February 1991 meeting on "women's perspectives on the introduction of fertility regulation technologies," efforts were made during 1992 to promote a dialogue between scientists and women's groups. These efforts included an Asian regional meeting on the above topic. Recommendations from this meeting were that 1) contraceptive selection and provision must occur within an overall service context, 2) women should be involved in determining national research needs and priorities, 3) the reproductive health responsibilities of men must be promoted, 4) research should be conducted on the reintroduction of barrier methods and user perspectives of safety and acceptability, and 5) services should respond to the various needs of all women, should be assessed before a method is introduced, and should be available to men also. During a meeting in Geneva, women's health groups expressed concerns about the development of fertility regulating vaccines, specifically about general effects on the immune system, effects on diseases (including HIV), effects on a fetus, and how a woman would know if the pregnancy protection level of the antibody titre dropped. In addition, information dissemination has taken place between women's health networks and journals and researchers working on human reproductive issues. The participation of women health advocates into the Programme's committees has been fostered, and a network has been established with women scientists. Similar activities are planned for the next three years.
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  12. 12

    Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Programme. Research progress report, 1987-1992.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Division of Family Health. Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Programme

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1994. [3], 76 p. (WHO/FHE/MSM/94.18)

    Staff of the WHO Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood (MSM) Programme and the Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction reviewed MSM research to help the MS Scientific and Technical Advisory Group determine at its March-April 1993 meeting future directions of MSM's research component. The review's report includes an overview of MSM and its protocols and funding. The section on research results addresses maternal mortality studies (epidemiologic, social/behavioral, and intervention/prevention studies), maternal morbidity, hemorrhage, anemia, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, infections, obstructed labor, and abortion. The programmatic analysis of MSM research examines methodology, characteristics of funded studies, monitoring the progress of studies, and documents resulting from MSM research. Sections on technical working groups and a discussion follows. Staff concluded that high priority issues revolve around the most common complications of pregnancy and the most frequent causes of maternal death: postpartum hemorrhage, anemia, puerperal infection, eclampsia, and obstructed labor. New scientific knowledge from MSM research includes stability of various oxytocic preparations, value of 10 IU of oxytocin after delivery in prevention of postpartum hemorrhage, and the value of the partograph in reducing complications related to prolonged and obstructed labor. MSM research activities have been important catalysts in improving maternal health in many developing countries. Based on this review, the staff recommends that MSM become more proactive, focus on high priority areas, conduct multicenter studies, and continue to support investigator-initiated proposals to facilitate national research. The annexes include completed research results, summary of ongoing studies, follow-up activities of MSM supported maternal mortality projects, and reports and articles arising out of MSM supported research. The report concludes with abstracts of MSM research.
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  13. 13

    Young women: silence, susceptibility and the HIV epidemic.

    Reid E; Bailey M

    New York, New York, United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], HIV and Development Programme, 1993 Nov. [6], 9, [3] 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.
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  14. 14

    USA President Clinton acts to ensure reproductive health.

    IPPF OPEN FILE. 1993 Feb; 1.

    In 1984, in Mexico City, the Reagan administration announced its policy prohibiting USAID from supporting any nongovernmental organization which used its own or US funds for any abortion-related activities. Even though this policy was intended to reduce the incidence of abortion, it had the opposite effect because the cut in funding left some areas of the developing world with no family planning services or information at all. Further, this policy resulted in a loss of $17 million (US) or 25% of the budget of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). On January 22, 1993, US President Clinton reversed this policy. IPPF considered President Clinton's action to be a significant event for women's health, human rights, and global development. This reversal will provide family planning services to about 300 million couples who want to practice family planning but could not do so because they did not have access to it. Shortly after President Clinton's announcement, IPPF began writing a proposal to USAID for funds to restore programs that the Mexico City policy eliminated. IPPF hoped the reversal would spark international recognition of the need for safe access to abortion. Other actions President Clinton has taken to promote reproductive health are reversing the Reagan and Bush administrations' rule prohibiting abortion counseling at federally-funded clinics, requesting that the US Food and Drug Administration study the possible marketing of RU-486, removing the ban on abortion in military hospitals, approving regulations allowing fetal tissue research, and appointing an abortion rights advocate as Surgeon General. The Catholic Church opposed all of Clinton's abortion policies. However, many congregations, priests, and Vatican officials are dissatisfied with the Pope's anticontraception position.
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