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Ensuring the complementarity of country ownership and accountability for results in relation to donor aid: a response.
Reproductive Health Matters. 2011 Nov; 19(38):141-5.This paper focuses on the topic of improving the impact of sexual and reproductive health development assistance from European donors. It touches on country ownership and accountability and uses International Health Partnership+ (IHP+) as an example. In addition, it discusses the need for better funding data and more activity around sexual and reproductive health and rights. It concludes with recommendations for improving aid impact and effectiveness and improving outcome measures.
International Family Planning Perspectives. 2008 Jun; 34(2):98.Physical and sexual intimate partner violence may have lasting effects on a woman's health, according to a recent multicountry study by the World Health Organization. Compared with women who had never been abused, those who had suffered intimate partner violence had 60% greater odds of being in poor or very poor health, and about twice the odds of having had various health problems, such as memory loss and difficulty walking, in the past four weeks. (excerpt)
From microfinance to macro change: integrating health education and microfinance to empower women and reduce poverty.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006. 26 p.This document is a call to action for development agencies, governments, MFIs and donors that are committed to finding practical strategies to fulfill the shared vision for human development. Built upon the backbone of a poverty alleviation mechanism already reaching more than 66.6 million of the world's poorest families, the proposed strategy calls for combining reproductive health education with microfinance services in developing countries. The first section of the document acknowledges and reviews the intimate link between poverty, poor health outcomes and inequality. The next section presents microfinance as an effective poverty reduction strategy and reviews the evidence for its impact on poverty as well as its broader impacts. The third section proposes microfinance as a vehicle for improving reproductive health outcomes, HIV prevention and women's empowerment by combining health education with microfinance programs. Summaries of case study institutions in Bolivia that are already employingthis strategy are presented, along with evidence of the impact of combined microfinance and health education services. Finally, recommendations for action are made to development agencies, governments, MFIs and donors to promote and expand this essential strategy. (excerpt)
Contraception Report. 1998 Sep; 9(4): p..Current recommendations suggest IUDs should not be the first method of choice for women with HIV infection. The World Health Organization and International Planned Parenthood Federation recommend that HIV-infected women not use the IUD for contraception. These recommendations are based upon theoretical concerns about an increased risk of infection and possible increased risk of female-to-male HIV transmission from increased menstrual blood loss. The recommendation also reflects concern about behavioral characteristics that may make some HIV-positive women more susceptible to STDs and PID. Research conducted in Kenya by Family Health International suggests that carefully selected HIV-infected women may safely use the IUD for contraception. Researchers enrolled 649 women who otherwise met eligibility criteria for IUD insertion, including a low risk of STDs. Women came from two family planning clinics in Nairobi, Kenya. (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)
One Country. 2006 Jan-Mar; 17(4):6-8.Not far from the bright lights of Broadway, a little production with a big message played to a standing room only crowd in late February. In a conference room across the street from United Nations, as part of a "side event" to the 50th annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), about 100 people watched 16-year-old Anisa Fedaei portray the daughter of the cocoa farmer in a short play called "Playing the Game." "I am Patience from a developing country and I am 12 years old," said Anisa. "I don't go to school because I help my mother. Our family lives in a small hut. My mother cannot own the land and cannot get credit." But now, "Patience" explains, thanks to the help of a local cooperative, they can invest in the farm and grow enough to trade. (excerpt)
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 2003 Winter; 29(2):387-416.This essay aims to advance feminist debates around globalization in a number of directions. By means of a transnational perspective that takes gender into the heart of the analysis, the essay challenges the erasure of gender from grand theories of globalization, leaving gender difference as merely a local effect of globalization (Freeman 2001). Following path-breaking work, we share the feminist view that globalization is inherently gendered and multiply produced by diverse actors in varied times and spaces and that its theorization has often been implicitly masculine. Our definition of transnationalism owes much to feminist work on globalization, which stresses the complex topographies of political-economic-social and cultural transformations at interconnected scales (the body, the national, and international) that comprise "globalization" (Katz 2001; Nagar et al. 2002; Radcliffe, Laurie, and Andolina 2002). Andean development transnationalism rises to the feminist challenge to move beyond conceptual frameworks that "implicitly construe... global as masculine and local as feminine" (Nagar et al. 2002, 1009). Compared with previous globalization analyses that took a decontextualized and institutional focus (see critique in Adam 2002), our essay delves through the national, local, and bodily scales to trace the impacts of new institutional initiatives such as gender mainstreaming and ethnodevelopment. (excerpt)
Draft declarations against violence approved by Commission - United Nations Commission on the Status of Women - includes related article on the rights of married women.
UN Chronicle. 1993 Jun; 30(2): p..A draft declaration on the elimination of violence against women was unanimously approved by the Commission on the Status of Women at its thirty-seventh session (17-26 March, Vienna). It was among 13 resolutions approved by the 45-member Commission on issues ranging from women's role in development to preparations for the 1995 World Conference on Women. The non-binding declaration, which is to be submitted to the forty-eighth General Assembly for adoption later this year, states that violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development and peace--the three main goals of the UN to advance the status of women. It contains a comprehensive definition of violence against women and identifies the responsibilities of States and organizations in applying remedial measures. That definition includes physical and psychological violence within the family, marital rape and female genital mutilation, as well as sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in schools. States are called on not to "invoke any custom, tradition or religious or other consideration" to avoid their obligations to implement the declaration. (excerpt)
Exploitation of women workers in family enterprises decried - United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
UN Chronicle. 1991 Jun; 28(2): p..Women who work in family enterprises without payment are being exploited, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) declared, calling for guaranteed payment, social security and social benefits for them. As it concluded its tenth annual session (21 January-1 February, New York), the Committee also recommended that the value of women's domestic work be added to countries' gross national products. Nations should provide information on disabled women and on measures taken to ensure equal access for them to education, employment, health services and social security. The 23-member watchdog body monitors how countries implement the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. (excerpt)
Women's empowerment, gender equality and the Millennium Development Goals: a WEDO information and action guide.
New York, New York, WEDO, .  p.The United Nations has been a key forum for women’s advocacy. From the 1975 UN International Year on Women through the Decade on Women (1976-1985) and the global conferences and summits of the 1990s women participated actively to shape economic, social, and political development. In these settings advocates established strategic mechanisms, influenced resolutions and won crucial commitments to set a farreaching global policy agenda that recognizes gender equality and women’s empowerment as essential components of poverty eradication, human development and human rights. The Millennium Declaration reflects widespread international acknowledgement that empowerment of women and the achievement of gender equality are matters of human rights and social justice. It is another indication of the successful efforts of women to put gender on the global policy agenda. (excerpt)
WHO / CONRAD Technical Consultation on Nonoxynol-9, World Health Organization, Geneva, 9–10 October 2001. Summary report.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2003.  p. (PN-ACQ-110)An effective, easy to use vaginal microbicide would provide women with a method under their own control with which to protect themselves against infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). While many novel compounds are currently being developed and tested, it will be many years before a new product can be fully evaluated and distributed to users. The spermicide Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) has been widely available as a contraceptive for many years and has been shown to be effective against HIV in laboratory studies. If it also provided effective protection against HIV in clinical studies, N-9 could be made rapidly available to women who require protection. The World Health Organization Global Programme on AIDS (GPA) and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) sponsored a clinical trial of a gel containing N-9 to assess its effectiveness in protecting against HIV. Preliminary results from the study were presented in July 2000 at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, and showed, contrary to expectation, that the HIV incidence was higher in women using N-9 than in women using a comparison product. While a disappointment with regard to the rapid deployment of an effective microbicide, these results also raised questions about the safety of N-9 when used for its main indication, protection against unwanted pregnancy. After presentation of the preliminary results from the study in July 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) was approached to provide an assessment of the scientific information regarding the safety and effectiveness of N-9 when used for family planning purposes. This summary should permit Member States to assess the risks and benefits of N-9 use among women in their country who may be at risk of HIV infection from inadequately protected sexual activity. Accordingly, the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) convened a Technical Consultation in October 2001, in partnership with the CONRAD Program, Arlington, VA, USA, to review the available evidence and provide advice to member states on the use of N-9. The Consultation included experts from developed and developing countries with experience in product development, safety assessment, and public health and representatives from collaborating agencies (Annex). Reviews of key issues were commissioned prior to the meeting and are summarised in this report. The meeting also considered the submitted manuscripts from recently completed studies directly relevant to the safety and effectiveness of N-9. This report summarises the evidence presented to the meeting on the safety of N-9 and its effectiveness for protection against pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. The meeting concluded with recommendations on the use of N-9 and identified key areas of uncertainty where more research was urgently required. (excerpt)
Development. 2004; 47(2):36-42.Manisha Desai looks at the international women's health movement (IWHM). She argues that changing gender relations have engendered the discourse of global health and raised the particular concern of women's health to the forefront of discussions about health. At the same time, because of IWHM the globalization of health and disease have also become pathways to changed gender relations that have led to community level changes in norms and practices that reproduce gender inequalities. (author's)
In: Women's rights, human rights: international feminist perspectives, edited by Julie Peters and Andrea Wolper. New York, New York, Routledge, 1995. 18-35.This essay focuses primarily on the process leading up to the World Conference on Human Rights, in a necessarily suggestive, not comprehensive, manner. To begin what must be a broader research effort, I have interviewed advocates from regional networks, women's human right experts in health and legal matters, representatives from human rights organizations, and Global Campaign coordinators; their contributions have been supplemented by primary and secondary sources on women's human rights. Admittedly, this paper--pieced together in a short time by a woman from, and residing in, the United States--represents only a partial picture of the movement. Like other movements for women's rights, the women's human rights movement has evolved from women organizing on local, national, regional, and international levels around issues that affect their daily lives. One special component of this movement is women's entry into the political "space" opened by the United Nations; women have taken advantage of the opportunities presented by international meetings--such as the World Conference on Human Rights and those that took place during the UN Decade on Women--to organize among themselves while transforming the official agenda. (excerpt)
In: The women and international development annual. Volume 4, edited by Rita S. Gallin, Anne Ferguson, and Janice Harper. Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 1995. 51-75.The growth of women's studies since 1970 has not been limited to the United States. Similar developments, some as dramatic, have been underway in other countries where there were networks of women scholars and activists. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have made significant advances since the 1970s in women's studies research and in the number and range of courses available. Elsewhere courses appeared on the European continent, particularly in West Germany, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries, where strong government support was available. In most developing countries, however, women's studies as such was little known prior to 1980. The notable exception was India. Here the origins of women's studies are attributable to the investigations of the Committee on the Status of Women in India, which were carried out from 1971 to 1974. The Committee's Report highlighted a lack of knowledge about the diversity of women's lives and pointed to the need for further research and reappraisal of the traditional assumptions of the social sciences. With that background, the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) established a Programme of Women's Studies in 1976 "to develop new perspectives in the social sciences--through examining basic assumptions, methodological approaches and concepts concerning the family, household, women's work, productivity, economic activity--to remedy the neglect and underassessment of women's contributions to the society. (excerpt)
A demographic perspective on women in development in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1998. xvi, 135 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 148)The selection of Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam for inclusion in the study was based on a number of considerations. The ESCAP secretariat has undertaken the publication of country profiles of women in 16 other countries, namely Bangladesh, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vanuatu. The four countries included in this study, while exhibiting significant social and cultural differences, are all located in South-East Asia; they are the four least developed countries in South-East Asia on most indicators; and their economies are in transition to more open, market-oriented economies, In each of the four countries, women have traditionally played an important social role marked by considerable gender equity. Equal inheritance among children is possible, and often the norm. In the Lao People's Democratic Republic, for example, husbands traditionally move to the household of their wife and the youngest daughter inherits the family home. The proportion of households headed by women is substantial in all four countries, and quite high in Cambodia and Viet Nam. Female labour force participation rates exceed those of men in Cambodia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and the female labour force is larger than the male labour force in Viet Nam. (excerpt)
International organizations: women's rights and gender equality. [Organizaciones internacionales: derechos de la mujer e igualdad de los sexos]
In: Eye to eye: women practising development across cultures, edited by Susan Perry and Celeste Schenck. London, England, Zed Books, 2001. 25-40.Before beginning, we want to clarify the 'voice' in which this essay is being written. We are acutely aware of the privilege and responsibility that we have, as feminists who work in an outpost of the multilateral development community. The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) is an autonomous organization that works in close association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). At the same time, UNIFEM is distinctly aware that it was created in response to demands on the UN by the global women's movement, and that it has a strong non-governmental constituency of women's advocates worldwide who will - and should - hold it accountable. On a personal level, working at UNIFEM, we link our lifetime commitment to the women's movement with our daily work in an organization that has the legitimacy to create a political space for women. UNIFEM is a women's fund that supports precisely the kind of organizing that Bhatt, Mathai, Villanueva and Abzug epitomize. We negotiate from a position of principle from within a bureaucracy that must fulfill its commitment to gender equality. While we recognize that bureaucratic procedures and principles are changing because of the pressure from within, we also acknowledge that they remain quite distinct from the women's movement from which our work was born. (excerpt)
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)
New York, New York, IWHC, 2003. 11 p.Internationally and domestically, in our courts and in our schools, at the UN and on Capitol Hill, it is no exaggeration to say that the White House is conducting a stealth war against women. This war has devastating consequences for social and economic development, democracy, and human rights—and its effects will be felt by women and girls worldwide. (excerpt)
New York, New York, IWHC, . 10 p.The United States Congress is pursuing a number of misguided domestic and international policies that have profound—and profoundly counterproductive–impacts on women in the United States and around the world. Each individual action deserves attention; taken together they paint a chilling picture of Congress' willingness to sacrifice women and girls to gain political favor with those on the far right. In tandem with the Bush administration, the Republican-dominated 108th Congress is chipping away at women’s rights and health both at home and abroad. The International Women’s Health Coalition has compiled some of its most egregious actions, as a complement to our ongoing monitoring of the Bush administration (see the Bush’s Other War factsheet at http://www.bushsotherwar.com). (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNICEF, 2002.  p. (UNICEF Fact Sheet)Approximately one third of infants born to HIV-infected mothers will contract the virus. Without preventive interventions, transmission of the virus occurs during a mother’s pregnancy or during childbirth or breastfeeding. Without interventions, about 15 to 30 per cent of children become infected during pregnancy or delivery; about 10 to 20 per cent contract the virus through breastmilk if breastfed for two years. An estimated 800,000 children under the age of 15 contracted HIV in 2001, about 90 per cent of them through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). The risks of HIV infection have to be compared with the risks of illness and death faced by infants who are not breastfed. Breastfeeding provides protection from death due to diarrhoea and respiratory and other infections, particularly in the first months of life. During the first two months, a child receiving replacement feeding is nearly six times more likely to die from these infectious diseases, compared to a breastfed child. Breastfeeding also provides complete nutrition, immune factors and the stimulation necessary for good development, and it contributes to birth spacing. (excerpt)
Round Table. 2000 Oct; 357:577-583.Gender equality is central to democracy and to the wellbeing and future prosperity of societies. Yet three decades after a new understanding of development began to emerge and a way of integrating women into the development process was sought, gender equality still has not been realized. There has been considerable progress for women, who account for over 50 per cent of the world's population, yet much more still has to be achieved. Traditional perceptions of the rôles of women and men in society must be rethought and men's stake in gender equality understood. This involves the reorganization of the basic institutions of society-the market, Government and the family. Also, the media, which helps define what we think and what our place is in society, have a crucial rôle to play in changing people's perceptions and stereotyped views of the rôles of men and women. In the Platform for Action that emerged from the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995, the media were identified as one of the major areas of concern. Gender sensitizing the media must be a priority. (author's)
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1990. xv, 57 p. (World Bank Discussion Papers No. 103)This paper proposes a series of operational guidelines on how to provide agricultural extension services in a cost-effective way to women farmers. All small-scale farmers, regardless of gender, face constraints, but the focus here is on women farmers in order to foster a better understanding of the particular gender-related barriers confronting women and the strategies needed to overcome them. Attention is concentrated on Sub-Saharan Africa in view of the crucial role of women in agriculture throughout the sub-continent. Worldwide operational guidelines for agricultural extension for women farmers are planned for later this year. The recommendations have been gleaned from the experiences of African governments, the World Bank and other donors, and researchers. Ongoing pilot programs have provided useful guidance about what can work to integrate women fully into the agricultural extension system and what problems are likely to emerge in different socioeconomic environments. This is, however, an ongoing process: it is a relatively new field and much remains to be learned. It will be especially important to test alternative approaches over the next few years. This paper will then be revised to incorporate new lessons of experience. This paper is organized as follows: Chapter 1 addresses the question of why women need help -- the role women have in agriculture, especially in Africa, and the particular constraints they face in terms of access to resources and information. Chapter 2 examines the information needed to modify extension systems to better reach women farmers, to modify the focus of research to address women's activities and constraints, and to monitor and evaluate programs. Ways to collect such data are also suggested. Chapter 3 deals with the transmission of the extension message to women farmers -- the role of the extension agents and the importance of gender, the use of home economists and subject matter specialists, and the use of contact farmers and groups. The final Chapter examines the formulation of the message to be delivered, and the linkage between extension and agricultural research and technology. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, 2003. ix, 101 p. (ST/ESA/SER.A/218)The primary objective of the present report is to examine the levels and trends of population migration to selected countries in Asia using available statistics as a guide, and focusing primarily on changes that have occurred since 1970. The report discusses the burgeoning of labour migration during the past decades, in response to the development of strong economies in Eastern, Southeastern and Western Asia. It also touches on permanent settlement of people and refugee flows that have characterized several countries in Asia. (excerpt)
Victoria, Canada, Communication Initiative, 2002 Dec 19. 2 p.Implemented in 2001 by UNICEF-Peru as part of a five-year initiative, this programme addresses the issue of children's, adolescents', and women's rights by bolstering interpersonal communication skills among public services workers, intermediaries between supply and demand (community agents, teachers, and community leaders), and families and individuals. The programme, which includes remote communities of the Andes and Amazon in its reach, draws on the use of culturally relevant and non-threatening messages to increase the participation of communities and families so they can demand that their rights be respected. Other features of the project include providing technical assistance to improve communication among those who provide basic services, and revamping the manner in which the media treats issues related to children and women's rights. (author's)
Women and Environments International. 2003 Spring; (58-59):52.The Magdalena Pacifica Festival in Cali exhibited performances from some 30 Colombian companies, all of which focused on issues relating to women. The second part of the festival took place in Bogota at the invitation of Patricia Ariza, one of the most important and well-respected theatre activists in Colombia. (excerpt)