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New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006.  p.Even in times of peace, it is usually women who look after children, the sick, the injured and the elderly. When emergencies strike, this burden of care can multiply. In many cases, women become the sole providers and caretakers for their households, and sometimes the families of others -- especially when men have been killed, injured or must leave their communities to fight or rebuild. During crisis and in refugee situations, women and girls become the ultimate humanitarian workers. They obtain food and fuel for their families, even when it is unsafe to do so. They are responsible for water collection, even when water systems have been destroyed and alternate sources are far away. They help to organize or rebuild schools. They protect the vulnerable and care for sick and disabled family members and neighbours. Women are also likely to take on additional tasks, including construction and other physical labour, and activities to generate income for their families. In many conflict zones, women's actions also help to bring about and maintain peace. Women care for orphaned children who might otherwise become combatants. They organize grass-roots campaigns, sometimes across borders, to call for an end to fighting. When the situation stabilizes, women work together to mend their torn communities. They help rebuild, restore traditions and customs, and repair relationships -- all while providing care for the next generation. (excerpt)
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)
In: War and public health, edited by Barry S. Levy, Victor W. Sidel. Washington, D.C., American Public Health Association [APHA], 2000. 254-278.War has always been disastrous for civilians, and the Persian Gulf War was no exception. Yet the image that has been perpetuated in the West is that the Gulf War was somehow "clean" and fought with "surgical precision" in a manner that minimized civilian casualties. However, massive wartime damage to Iraq's civilian infrastructure led to a breakdown in virtually all sectors of society. Economic sanctions further paralyzed Iraq's economy and made any meaningful post-war reconstruction all but impossible. Furthermore, the invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf War unleashed internal political events that have been responsible for further suffering and countless human fights violations. The human impact of these events is incalculable. In 1996, more than five years after the end of the war, the vast majority of Iraqi civilians still subsist in a state of extreme hardship, in which health care, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, and other basic services are minimal. As many as 500,000 children are believed to have died since the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, largely due to malnutrition and a resurgence of diarrheal and vaccine- preventable diseases. Health services are barely functioning due to shortages of supplies and equipment. Medicines, including insulin, antibiotics, and anesthetics, are in short supply. The psychological impact of the war has had a damaging and lasting effect on many of Iraq's estimated eight million children. (excerpt)
Integration of population education in APPEAL. Volume Three. Population education in literacy and continuing education.
Bangkok, Thailand, UNESCO, PROAP, 1992. , 115 p. (Population Education Programme Service)Workshops were conducted in 1989 and 1991 in Indonesia and Pakistan to discuss the integration of population education into primary school curricula and into continuing education and literacy programs. This document provides a summary of prototype materials for integration of population messages in nonformal education. On-site visits were conducted in the rural villages of Sinar Bakti and Sari Harapan in the eastern district of Lembang, and 24 semi-literate persons were interviewed on demographic information, knowledge, attitudes, practices in family planning, problems and solutions, and aspirations. Workshop participants drafted materials with the help of resource persons, and 1 flip chart, 1 chart, and 2 booklets were field-tested. The core messages were that mother and child health care promotes family welfare; there is a right age for marriage; children can be spaced; women should be allowed to obtain a higher education; educated mothers add to family quality of life; women's groups can be effective; and rapid population growth leads to water shortages. Each of these messages for semi-literates is further differentiated by format, specific objectives, materials, messages and submessages. For example, a flip chart with 11 pictures is developed for stimulating discussion on the benefits of improving women's educational status. The instructions for facilitators are to direct learners to study the pictures and read the text and then direct questions about the messages in the pictures. Learners are expected to explain the pictures and text and draw conclusions. The learning materials from Pakistan were developed based on a needs assessment approach. Interviewers visited houses and asked for knowledge and attitudes on messages about small family size and social welfare, the right marriage age, responsible parenthood, population and development, reorientation of population-related beliefs and values, and enhancement of the status of women. The results of the inquiries are given. An example of these issues is represented in teaching materials for reorienting beliefs on the right marriage age. The target would be out-of-school youths and adults. The focus would be on how 1) early marriage affects the health of the mother and child, and 2) young mothers are not mentally prepared for the consequences of frequent pregnancies. A puppet show is provided as well as a guide for facilitators of discussion.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1992. 36 p.This atlas presents social, economic, and environmental statistics for 200 economies throughout the world, including statistics for 15 economies throughout the world, including statistics for 15 economies of the former Soviet Union. The following social/demographic indices are presented: population growth rate, 1980-1991; under-5 mortality rate, 1991; daily calorie supply/capita, 1989; illiteracy rate, 1990; and female labor force, 1991. GNP/capita, 1991; GNP/capita growth rate, 1980-91; and shares of agriculture, exports, and investment in GDP in 1991 comprise the economic data. Finally, GDP output/kilogram energy used, 1990; annual water use and annual water use/capita, 1970-87; forest coverage, 1989; and change in forest coverage, 1980-89, are presented as economic indicators. All figures are reported in color graphic format. Technical notes and World Bank structure and functions are discussed in closing sections. The text also cautions that the differing statistical systems and data collection methods and capabilities employed internationally demand that caution be taken against directly comparing statistical coverages and definitions.
New York, New York, UNDP, Division of Information, 1985 Jun. 10 p.Women are mainly responsible for household sanitation and the provision of water for their families, and any absence of adequate facilities severely affects the health of women, their families, and their communities. Recognizing this fact, the United Nations launched the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade in 1980 to address these problems. All too often, however, billions of dollars and hundreds of technicians are deployed to drill wells, install pumps, and construct latrines. The majority of these projects prove unsuccessful because women and other community users were not included in the planning and designing of the projects. The introduction of these technologies in communities without considering the primary gathers and users of water often leads to misuse, underuse, and disrepair (WHO predicts that 40-80% of hand pumps break down within 3 years of installation). To correct his situation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) introduced an interregional project to support and promote women's participation in drinking water and sanitation development. UNDP has organized projects that demonstrate how women and communities can successfully assist in project design, execution, and maintenance. The projects' efforts show that women involved in water and sanitation facilities make the facilities more effective and enduring. This is because women are consulted and actively involved in all phases. In addition, by being participants of decision making bodies, they have control of the solutions to their water supply, sanitation, related health problems. Further financial, technical, and information support are needed to continue the success of water and sanitation projects.