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Economic and Social Council considers issues relating to human rights, women, drugs, homeless, southern Africa.
UN Chronicle. 1986 Aug; 23: p..Action by the 54-member Economic and Social Council at its first regular session of 1986 concerned a wide range of issues, including human rights, illicit drug traffic, the homeless, the status of women, crime control, racial discrimination, population, youth and the disabled. Particular situations relating to southern Africa, the Middle East and other areas of the world were also the focus of Council attention. The Council, in adopting 43 resolutions and 35 decisions during its four-week session (New York, 28 April-23 May), also reviewed matters relating to the International Year of Peace, being observed during 1986. Debate on some human rights situations and issues concerning southern Africa, including transnational corporations (TNCs) and mercenaries, resulted in votes reflecting opposing views. The Council condemmed collaboration by TNCs with South Africa in the nuclear, military and economic fields, and the increased recruitment, financing, training, assembly, transit and use of mercenaries to destabilize and overthrow certain African Governments. (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 1986 Apr; 23: p..So begins a special report, Within Human Reach: A Future for Africa's Children, prepared by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). According to UNICEF, neglect of the human costs of the African crisis has obscured a full understanding of the "scenario for disaster' that has been unfolding on that continent over the past two decades. "In its day-to-day work in the continent, UNICEF is faced with the maluntrition and ill health which claim the lives of nearly 4 million African children each and every year--even when there is no drought, no famine, no camps, no epidemics, and no media coverage', states UNICEF Executive Director James P. Grant in a preface to the report. "This is the "silent emergency' which, exacerbated by war and drought, has suddenly become the "loud emergency' of which all the world has heard'. However, adds Mr. Grant, "the first priority for action is to protect the lives and the normal growth of children. In times of emergency, the immediate, human argument for "children first' is an obvious one. But there is also a longer-term and more hard-headed case to be made. For there is a profound connection between the mental and physical development of the children and the social and economic development of their nations.' (excerpt)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Institute for Development Training, 1986. 42,  p. (Training Course in Women's Health Module 5)Female circumcision encompasses a variety of surgical procedures performed on female children in Africa and the Middle East. Although female circumcision is a traditional practice, it is also a health issue because of its severe physical and psychological consequences. This women's health module seeks to provide health practitioners with information on recognizing the immediate and longterm consequences of female circumcision and to suggest ways of counteracting this practice. The module includes a pre-test and post-test and chapters on the following topics: types of female circumcision operations, immediate health effects of the practice, longterm consequences for general health, the effects of excision and infibulation on marriage and childbirth, health consequences of re-infibulation, and health education strategies. The module is self-instructional, allowing the student to learn at his or her own pace. An appended statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that WHO has consistently and unequivocally advised that female circumcision should not be practiced by any health professionals in any setting.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 1986 Aug. vi, 30 p.This report reviews the assessments of women's needs and the recommendations for specific women's projects in the UNFPA Basic Needs Assessment (BNA) reports. Because the BNA reports serve as a basis for the Fund's program development, the report also examines the extent to which BNA recommendations have led to the development of specific women's projects in the countries concerned. A total of 38 BNAs are included in the analysis. The text on women was reviewed to ascertain the extent to which the technical guidelines of a previously published UNFPA manual had been taken into account in assessments of women's special needs and in the formulation of recommendations for the improved integration of women in development. Although the majority of reports were found to be satisfactory, some issues were still neglected, among them: women's health problems and preventive health measures; professional and managerial training of health personnel; women's economic activities, remuneration and working conditions; women's participation in political life and in decision-making; women's access to educational facilities and curricular content; migration; the burden of household and job responsibilities for women working outside the home; the need for men to share in family and domestic responsibilities; and the need for men, especially male decision makers, to be educated on the potential contribution of women to development. This report also suggests ways of improving the consideration of women's concerns in BNAs and in program development.
[Unpublished] 1986 Feb 4. Prepared for United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Forty-second session, 3 February - 14 March 1986. Item 19 of the provisional agenda. (E/CN.4/1986/42)The results of the working group on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children as presented during the 42nd session of the UN Commission on Human Rights are reported. Among the various traditional practices identified was the problem of female circumcision. Several aspects of female circumcision were explored; namely, the definition of female circumcision, forms of female circumcision and the age at which it is carried out, origins and scope of the phenomenon, evolution of the problem, countries practicing female circumcision and reasons for the practice, effects on physical and mental health of women and children, and measures undertaken for the eradication of female circumcision at the regional, national and international levels. Conclusions that were drawn from available data and the recommended actions to abolish female circumcision are presented.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1986. , 238 p.This overview of women in development includes chapters devoted to women's participation in the labor force and the invisibility of some work, the benefits for women from economic development and the impact on women from economic trends, and a cost-benefit analysis. Other chapters focus on women's role in agriculture, industrial development, finance, science and technology, and trade; on women's use and conservation of energy resources; and on the concept of self-reliance and integration of women in development. Statistical tables and a bibliography accompany each of the sections. Conclusions are drawn on self-reliance that neither development in specific industrial areas nor cooperation within each area is sufficient to respect the need for selecting women specifically as the targeted group. Most developing countries were found not to have a detailed analysis of the development role of women. There appears to be a conceptual lack of clarity about priorities for improving the status of women versus changing their development role. Women themselves are viewed as the arbiters of what their role in development should be. The self-reliance strategy is considered an integral approach to development and one in which the full productive and social emancipation of women is required. Social change in developing countries will come about when the role of women in society changes regardless of the culture and in tune with changes in women's position in the world at large. Development models need to be changed in ways which recognize the "true" economic role of women and their social role. The international community should maintain better communication and closer cooperation nationally, internationally, and within existing institutions that are concerned with developing countries.
Women's work and fertility, research findings and policy implications from recent United Nations research.
[Unpublished] 1986. Paper presented at the Rockefeller Foundation's Workshop on Women's Status and Fertility, Mt.Kisco, New York, July 8-11, 1986. 23 p.Using World Fertility Survey data from the developing countries, it has been found that the interval between 1st and last birth varies from roughly 14 years in several of the more developed countries of Latin America and Asia (Republic of Korea, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago) to 20 years in several African countries (Kenya and Senegal). In most of these countries childbearing begins between ages 18 and 20 with the lowest median age of 1st birth found in Bangladesh (17 years old) and the highest in Yemen (22 years old). Ages at last birth vary more widely from 33 in Trinidad and Tobago to 40 in Yemen. At the age of last birth, life expectancy varies from 27 in Benin and Senegal to 44 in Trinidad and Tobago and 42 in Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Panama. Life expectancy at last birth varies with level of development with developing countries at the highest level of development having an average life expectancy at age of last birth of 40.5 ranging on down to 36.8 at a middle-high level of development, 32.6 at a middle-low level, and 29.7 at the lowest level of development. This is compared with a life expectancy at last birth which is now as high as 52.6 in Japan for women born in 1950-1959 and 51.6 in the Netherlands for women born in 1940-1949. Thus, the actual childbearing period is 2 to 5 times longer in the developing countries than it is in the developed countries. A life cycle approach to women's employment and childbearing is essential for a full understanding of the interrelationship between women's status and fertility. While work opportunities can improve women's status and create the motivation for low fertility, fertility control is essential to women's status. As long as the events of conception, pregnancy, and childbirth have a significant element of chance, the incentives for societal and individual investment in women's educational and job opportunities will remain limited.
[New York, United Nations, 1986.] 27 p.The ongoing crisis confronting women and children in the Third World--where disease and hunger are taking millions of lives of young children every year and where population growth still proceeds at an unacceptably high rate--is actually worsening in some areas. The European Parliamentarians' Forum on Child Survival, Women, and Population: Integrated Strategies was held under the auspices of The Netherlands government and organized in cooperation with 3 UN organizations: the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the UN Fund for Population Activities. It is critical that the world regain the momentum of past decades in reducing appalling child mortality rates, improving the health and status of women, and slowing population growth. Development programs from health education to agriculture are hampered or crippled by the inability of development planners to recognize the centrality of the woman's role. Maternal and child health is the logical entry point for primary health care. Education is the springboard for rescuing women in the Third World from poverty, illness,endless childbearing, and lowly social status. One should educate women to save children. Women in the developing world must be given access to basic information to be able to take advantage of new, improved or rediscovered technologies such as 1) oral rehydration therapy, 2) vaccines, 3) growth monitoring through frequent charting to detect early signs of malnutrition, 4) breast feeding, and 5) birth spacing. Education is the single most documented factor affecting birth rate, status of women, and infant and child health. The presentations at The Hague threw into sharp relief the close links, the cause and effect chains, and the synergisms associated with all the factors connected, directly or indirectly, with child survival, women's status, and population--factors such as education, economic opportunities, and overall development questions. A 4-point agenda includes 1) encouraging UN agencies and organizations concerned with social development to work closely together and to enhance the effectiveness of their programs, 2) seeking greater support for the UN's social development programs, 3) focusing public attention on the interrelatedness of health, maternal and child survival and care, women's status, and freedom of choice in family matters, and 4) maintaining and strengthening commitment through the dialogue of parliamentarians.
In: La Mujer Migrante, Segundo Seminario Latinoamericano, organizado por la Oficina Regional del Servicio Social Internacional y la Oficina Argentina de S.S.I., Buenos Aires, 9-12 de Septiembre de 1.985. Caracas, Venezuela, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, 1986. 47-54.Southern South America has principally produced rather than received refugees in the past 2 decades, although at present Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia receive refugees. Refugee women are primarily urban and in many cases are obliged to abandon their countries of origin because of their relationships with politically militant men. Forced migration differs from economically oriented migration because external factors rather than the wishes of the individual are the motivating factor. Exile implies a loss of social power. Forced emigration of women occurs in the context of a slow process of incorporation of women into the social, political, and economic life of the nations. The need to include women in the development process in active roles has been increasingly recognized since World War II. The 1975 UN World Conference in Mexico City in observance of the International Year of Women, the UN Decade for Women, the 1980 World Conference on the Decade of Women held in Copenhagen, the 1985 round table on refugee women held in Geneva by the UN High Commission for Refugees, and the 1985 World Conference in Nairobi to evaluate the achievements of the UN Decade for Women all were intended to promote a fuller participation of women in all aspects of life. The need for refugee women to assume new roles and new functions within their families is often a cause of rupture of marital relationships. The processes of exile, adjustment to the new country, and return to the country of origin are all destabilizing. A study of 36 Chilean women who returned after periods of exile averaging 5 years, primarily in Europe, indicated that many were troubled by their status as foreigners and the need to seek new channels of participation and communication in the country of exile. The UN High Commission for Refugees attempts to help refugee women by assisting them in their immediate needs for food and housing, and by promoting their longterm integration into the country of asylum and their eventual return to their homelands. Voluntary agencies implement the programs of the High Commission, which are intended to help the refugee woman achieve self-sufficiency.
Washington, D.C., Centre for Development and Population Activities, 1986 Apr. 14 p. (CEDPA Tenth Anniversary Lecture Series)This discussion of the role of women managers in family planning and population programs begins with an overview of the participation of women in development and population. It then directs attention to the need for women in management, increasing women's role in development programs, and changing attitudes about women's roles. 1 of the major achievements of the Decade for Women has been the recognition by most governments of the need to integrate women more fully into the process of national socioeconomic development. More and more governments are making a concerted effort to increase the participation of women and to integrate them into development. An area in which opportunities for women have not increased as much as they could is in management. The role and involvement of women in population and family planning are particularly important. Family planning programs in many areas of the world are directed to women, involve women, and are utilized by women, yet women are not in the policy-making or management position, deciding what should be done for them. In management, the 5 basic concerns are authority to make decisions, communication within organizations, the opportunity to introduce change, the productivity of the operation, and staff morale. The most important positions for women managers are at the policy-making and decision-making levels, but few women are at those levels in most developing country programs. Women's knowledge of local customs, norms, and needs can be used in designing programs and in selecting methods and services. Many programs now are designed, and family planning methods selected, without a clear understanding of the local situations or local customs. Women managers have the responsibility to educate others about how to design, implement, and evaluate programs and projects that are sensitive to the needs of women. Thus, the family planning sector in particular must involve women in all stages and levels of program design and implementation. The UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) developed some guidelines on women, population, and development following the 1975 conference in Mexico inaugrating International Women's Year. The guidelines call for special attention to the needs and concerns of women and for participation of women in all stages and aspects of the UNFPA program. Since 1984, UNFPA has been examining how it can address the involvement of women in population programs and ways to improve the role and status of women. It tires to suppport projects in 2 major categories: projects aimed directly at improving the role and status of women by increasing their access to educational training and skills development and their participation in the community; and activities aimed at increasing the participation of women in all UNFPA-supported projects, which must be designed with consideration to the needs and concerns of women.
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.