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Entebbe, Uganda, NBI, 2015 May.  p. (Briefing Note 9)Women and girls often risk being left behind in development, not being fully informed or involved in decision making about issues that can have a real impact on their lives. Sometimes, they are already disadvantaged by cultural and legal norms that affect their rights to resources. Working together to develop the Nile resource, the 10 countries involved in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) are making it ‘business as usual’ to ensure gender equality in the economic benefits emerging from their shared efforts.
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.
The state of food and agriculture, 2010-11. Women in agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development.
Rome, Italy, FAO, 2011.  p.This edition of The State of Food and Agriculture addresses Women in agriculture: closing the gender gap for development. The agriculture sector is underperforming in many developing countries, and one of the key reasons is that women do not have equal access to the resources and opportunities they need to be more productive. This report clearly confirms that the Millennium Development Goals on gender equality (MDG 3) and poverty and food security (MDG 1) are mutually reinforcing. We must promote gender equality and empower women in agriculture to win, sustainably, the fight against hunger and extreme poverty. I firmly believe that achieving MDG 3 can help us achieve MDG 1. (Excerpt)
Reproductive and sexual health rights: 15 years after the International Conference on Population and Development [editorial]
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2009 Aug; 106(2): p.For the past 15 years, the World Report on Women's Health has been published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (IJGO) every 3 years to mark the occasion of the FIGO World Congress. The topic of the 2006 World Report was promoting partnerships to improve access to women's reproductive and sexual health. It is fitting that, following the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994, the 2009 World Report addresses reproductive and sexual health rights 15 years after this significant conference took place. Despite some of the progress made in achieving reproductive and sexual health rights in many countries, many agenda items from the ICPD Programme of Action remain unfinished, and these are now emphasized in the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5, and 6. The WHO Reproductive Health Research division has indicated that the core elements for improvement include improving prenatal, delivery, post partum, and newborn care; providing high-quality services for family planning including infertility services; eliminating unsafe abortion; combating sexually transmitted infections including HIV, reproductive tract infections, cervical cancer, and other gynecological morbidities; and promoting sexual health. It identified 6 areas of action including strengthening the capacity of health systems, improving the information base for priority settings, mobilizing political will, creating supportive legislation and regulatory frameworks, and strengthening, monitoring, evaluation, and accountability. The 2009 World Report provides the reader with a comprehensive and concise overview of what has been achieved in women's reproductive and sexual health rights since the ICPD, unmet needs, obstacles, and the feasible actions in the countdown to 2015 as outlined in the ICPD Programme of Action and the health-related MDGs. The July 2008 Summit Declaration of the G8 countries called for reproductive health to be "widely accessible," for closer links between HIV/AIDS and family planning programs, and strengthening of health systems. It is hoped that the latest global economic crisis will not negatively impact the commitments of rich countries to reproductive and sexual health programs in low-resource countries to reduce mortality and improve the quality-of-life of women and newborns around the world. (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNFPA, Technical Division, Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch, 2008. 32 p.This publication identifies priority areas for intensified action on gender-based violence: policy frameworks, data collection and analysis, focus on sexual and reproductive health, humanitarian responses, adolescents and youth, men and boys, faith-based networks, and vulnerable and marginalized populations. It is intended to provide a common platform and technical guidance for UNFPA at country, regional and global levels and effectively guide capacity-development initiatives, resources and partnerships.The strategy also outlines UNFPA's comparative advantages, experience and leadership potential within the context of United Nations reform, and suggests opportunities for improving the efficacy of its programme implementation and technical support.
New York, New York, UNFPA, Technical Division, Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch, 2008. 27 p.This booklet provides a snapshot of UNFPA's programming efforts to advance gender equality and empower women. It reports on activities undertaken in various priority areas like empowerment, reproductive health, youth and adolescent, conflict and emergency situations, etc. The report is based on contributions from the global, regional and country levels over the course of two years (2007-2008).
Improving maternal health to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: a youth lens.
Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. 2008; 14 Suppl:S97-106.The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) aims to improve maternal health. The 2 targets set for this goal are to "reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio" and "achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health". Six indicators have been selected to help track progress towards these targets: maternal mortality ratio; proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel; contraceptive prevalence rate; adolescent birth rate; antenatal care coverage (at least 1 visit and at least 4 visits); and unmet need for family planning. This paper briefly outlines the general situation in relation to maternal health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) and goes on to focus on the perspective of adolescent pregnancy and reproductive health.
World Health and Population. 2008; 10(2):25-39.Our study examines factors influencing demand for contraception for spacing as well as for limiting births in India. Data on socio-economic, demographic and program factors affecting demand for contraception in India are from the National Family Health Survey, 1998--99. The recent document from the National Rural Health Mission has completely ignored the use of contraception in controlling fertility in India. Empirical results of our study suggest giving priority to and focusing attention on supply-side factors such as a regular and sustained supply of quality contraceptive methods to improve accessibility and affordability. Further, strengthening the information, education and communication (IEC) component of the reproductive and child health (RCH) package would allay misapprehensions about the side effects and health risks of contraception. Focusing attention on demand-side factors such as women's empowerment through education, gainful employment and exposure to mass-media would help reduce the unmet demand for family planning. The resulting reduction in fertility would hasten the process of demographic transition and population stabilization in India.
Achieving the millennium development goals for health and nutrition in Bangladesh: key issues and interventions--an introduction.
Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition. 2008 Sep; 26(3):253-60.Among the mega-countries, Bangladesh stands out in terms of the density of population. As opposed to other countries with a population exceeding 100 million, the density of population in Bangladesh is more than twice the density of other populous countries, and the population continues to grow. Bangladesh is only half way up the population curve such that, during the next 50 years, the difference in density between Bangladesh and other countries will widen even further. Thus, the density of population, as well as poverty, and the rapid urbanization of the country are major constraints for Bangladesh while it attempts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Hopefully, the fertility rate will continue to fall to levels less than needed for replacement, since this will ease one of these constraints. (excerpt)
Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition. 2008 Sep; 26(3):280-94.Bangladesh is on its way to achieving the MDG 5 target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015, but the annual rate of decline needs to triple. Although the use of skilled birth attendants has improved over the past 15 years, it remains less than 20% as of 2007 and is especially low among poor, uneducated rural women. Increasing the numbers of skilled birth attendants, deploying them in teams in facilities, and improving access to them through messages on antenatal care to women, have the potential to increase such use. The use of caesarean sections is increasing although not among poor, uneducated rural women. Strengthening appropriate quality emergency obstetric care in rural areas remains the major challenge. Strengthening other supportive services, including family planning and delayed first birth, menstrual regulation, and education of women, are also important for achieving MDG 5.
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2008 Aug; 102(2):189-90.Recent articles in these pages have referred to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals were set in 2000 by the General Assembly of the United Nations to be achieved by 2015. While aimed primarily at development and poverty reduction, 3 goals refer to measures of health. Of the 8 goals, the one of interest to this section of IJGO is MDG5, which refers to maternal health: Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio; Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health care; A related goal is MDG4, which is to: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. (excerpt)
African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2008 Apr; 12(1):7-11.Add to my documents.
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. 2008; 87(7):693-6.Malarial infestation in pregnancy is a major public health concern in endemic countries and ranks high amongst the commonest complications of pregnancy, especially in large areas of Africa and Asia. It is an important preventable cause of significant maternal morbidity and mortality with associated fetal as well as perinatal wastage. The burden of malaria is greatest in sub-Saharan Africa where it contributes directly or indirectly to maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. The need for prompt and accurate diagnosis as well as prevention and treatment of malaria during pregnancy cannot, therefore, be overemphasized. This commentary focuses on the challenges of diagnosis and treatment of malaria in pregnancy.
Lancet. 2008 Sep 13; 372(9642):962-71.Primary health care was ratified as the health policy of WHO member states in 1978.(1) Participation in health care was a key principle in the Alma-Ata Declaration. In developing countries, antenatal, delivery, and postnatal experiences for women usually take place in communities rather than health facilities. Strategies to improve maternal and child health should therefore involve the community as a complement to any facility-based component. The fourth article of the Declaration stated that, "people have the right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care", and the seventh article stated that primary health care "requires and promotes maximum community and individual self-reliance and participation in the planning, organization, operation and control of primary health care". But is community participation an essential prerequisite for better health outcomes or simply a useful but non-essential companion to the delivery of treatments and preventive health education? Might it be essential only as a transitional strategy: crucial for the poorest and most deprived populations but largely irrelevant once health care systems are established? Or is the failure to incorporate community participation into large-scale primary health care programmes a major reason for why we are failing to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 for reduction of maternal and child mortality?
International Family Planning Perspectives. 2008 Jun; 34(2):101-102.At the midpoint of the 15-year timetable for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the majority of countries with high levels of maternal and child mortality are not on track to meet the targets for reductions in these outcomes by 2015, according to a recent analysis.1 Among the 68 countries that account for the vast majority of maternal and child deaths, only 16 are on track to reduce mortality among children younger than five to one-third of its 1990 level (Goal 4). Progress toward reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters (Goal 5) has been slow as well: In all 41 Sub-Saharan African countries included in the analysis, at least 300 maternal deaths occur per 100,000 live births. The research was conducted by Countdown to 2015, a collaboration of researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders that has been tracking progress toward the Millennium Development Goals in the 68 countries in which 97% of deaths among women of childbearing age and children younger than five occur. Researchers focused on determining coverage rates (the proportion of individuals in each country who need a service and are able to obtain it) for interventions that have been proven to avert maternal, newborn and child deaths, that can be widely implemented in resource-poor countries, and whose levels can be reliably estimated across countries and over time; these interventions include provision of contraceptive and STI services, skilled care during childbirth, and pre- and postnatal care. Most of the data were obtained through nationally representative household surveys. (excerpt)
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)
[Geneva, Switzerland], World Health Assembly, 2008 May 24. 3 p. (WHA61.16; A61/VR/8)This document presents the text of the Sixty-first World Health Assembly agenda item on female genital mutilation.
[Washington, D.C.], World Bank, 2006 Sep.  p.This Action Plan seeks to advance women's economic empowerment in the World Bank Group's client countries in order to promote shared growth and accelerate the implementation of Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG3 - promoting gender equality and women's empowerment). The Plan would commit the World Bank Group to intensify and scale up gender mainstreaming in the economic sectors over four years, in partnership with client countries, donors, and other development agencies. The Bank Group and its partners would increase resources devoted to gender issues in operations and technical assistance, in Results-Based Initiatives (RBIs), and in policy-relevant research and statistics. An assessment at the end of the four-year period would determine whether to extend the Action Plan's timeframe. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2008 Apr. 44 p. (1-56432-302-1)Five years into the armed conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, women and girls living in displaced persons camps, towns, and rural areas remain extremely vulnerable to sexual violence. Sexual violence continues to occur throughout the region, both in the context of continuing attacks on civilians, and during periods of relative calm. Those responsible are usually men from the Sudanese security forces, militias, rebel groups, and former rebel groups, who target women and girls predominantly (but not exclusively) from Fur, Zaghawa, Masalit, Berti, Tunjur, and other non-Arab ethnicities. Survivors of sexual violence in Darfur have no meaningful access to redress. They fear the consequences of reporting their cases to the authorities and lack the resources needed to prosecute their attackers. Police are physically present only in principal towns and government outposts, and they lack the basic tools and political will for responding to sexual violence crimes and conducting investigations. Police frequently fail to register complaints or conduct proper investigations. While some police seem genuinely committed to service, many exhibit an antagonistic and dismissive attitude toward women and girls. These difficulties are exacerbated by the reluctance-and limited ability-of police to investigate crimes committed by soldiers or militia, who often gain effective immunity under laws that protect them from civilian prosecution. (excerpt)
Introducing WHO's sexual and reproductive health guidelines and tools into national programmes. Principles and processes of adaptation and implementation.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2007. 25 p. (WHO/RHR/07.4)The Departments of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) and Making Pregnancy Safer (MPS) at the World Health Organization (WHO) have developed a series of guidelines and tools to promote evidence-based practices in sexual and reproductive health within programs. The guidance developed by WHO/RHR and WHO/MPS includes: norms, standards and protocols designed to inform the development and revision of national policies and standards; programmatic guides to inform the development of sexual and reproductive health programs; tools and clinical guides designed to be used by health-care providers in clinical setting, according to evidence-based norms. The guidance covers a range of themes, including maternal and neonatal health, family planning, prevention and control of reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted infections (RTIs/STIs) and the prevention of unsafe abortion. The various documents are based on scientific evidence and have been developed by WHO/RHR and WHO/MPS as generic global materials that are not specific to any one national context. (excerpt)
Public-private partnerships: Managing contracting arrangements to strengthen the Reproductive and Child Health Programme in India. Lessons and implications from three case studies.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2007.  p.Strengthening management capacity and meeting the need for reproductive and child health (RCH) services is a major challenge for the national RCH program of India. Central and state governments are using multiple options to meet this challenge, responding to the complex issues in RCH, which include social, cultural and economic factors and reflect the immense geographical barriers to access for remote and rural population. Other barriers are also being addressed, including lessening financial burdens and creating public-private partnerships to expand access. For example, the National Rural Health Mission was initiated in order to focus on rural populations, although departments of health face a number of challenges in implementing this initiative. In this document, we focus on a key area: the development of management capacity for working with the private sector. We synthesize the lessons learnt from three case studies of public-private partnerships in RCH: two are state initiatives, in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, and the third is the national mother nongovernmental organization scheme. The case studies were conducted to determine how management capacity was developed in these three public-private partnerships in service delivery, by examining the structure and process of partnerships, understanding management capacity and competence in various public-private partnerships in RCH, and identifying the means for developing the management capacity of partners. (author's)
[Washington, D.C.], Population Resource Center, .  p.An estimated 26 million legal and 20 million illegal abortions were performed worldwide. The resulting overall abortion rate was 35 per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Among the sub regions of the world, Eastern Europe had the highest abortion rate (90 per 1,000) and Western Europe the lowest rate (11 per 1,000). In response to the findings of surveys, the United Nations Population Fund, the UNFPA, and USAID launched targeted family planning programs in Eastern Europe, as well as other high risk regions like Asia and Latin America. (excerpt)
WHO ethical and safety recommendations for researching, documenting and monitoring sexual violence in emergencies.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007.  p.Sexual violence in humanitarian emergencies, such as armed conflict and natural disasters, is a serious, even life-threatening, public health and human rights issue. Growing concern about the scale of the problem has led to increased efforts to learn more about the contexts in which this particular form of violence occurs, its prevalence, risk factors, its links to HIV infection, and also how best to prevent and respond to it. Recent years have thus seen an increase in the number of information gathering activities that deal with sexual violence in emergencies. These activities often involve interviewing women about their experiences of sexual violence. It is generally accepted that the prevalence of sexual violence is underreported almost everywhere in the world. This is an inevitable result of survivors' well-founded anxiety about the potentially harmful social, physical, psychological and/or legal consequences of disclosing their experience of sexual violence. In emergency situations, which arecharacterized by instability, insecurity, fear, dependence and loss of autonomy, as well as a breakdown of law and order, and widespread disruption of community and family support systems, victims of sexual violence may be even less likely to disclose incidents. (excerpt)
Eliminating female genital mutilation: an interagency statement. OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2008. 41 p.The term 'female genital mutilation' (also called 'female genital cutting' and 'female genital mutilation/cutting') refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Between 100 and 140 million girls and women in the world are estimated to have undergone such procedures, and 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk of undergoing the procedures every year. Female genital mutilation has been reported to occur in all parts of the world, but it is most prevalent in: the western, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Africa, some countries in Asia and the Middle East and among certain immigrant communities in North America and Europe. Female genital mutilation has no known health benefits. On the contrary, it is known to be harmful to girls and women in many ways. First and foremost, it is painful and traumatic. The removal of or damage to healthy, normal genital tissue interferes with the natural functioning of the body and causes several immediate and long-term health consequences. For example, babies born to women who have undergone female genital mutilation suffer a higher rate of neonatal death compared with babies born to women who have not undergone the procedure. (excerpt)
[Rio de Janeiro], Brazil, Sexuality Policy Watch, . 412 p.Sex Politics: Reports from the Front Lines is a comparative study of the politics of sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights in eight countries and two global institutions. Over the past few decades, sexuality has become the focal point for political controversy and a key domain for social change. Issues such as protecting sexual freedoms and enhancing access to resources that promote sexual health are among the SPW's central concerns. The documents that are included in Sex Politics are based on research that has been carried out between 2004 and 2007 on sexuality and politics in Brazil, Egypt, India, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam, the United Nations and the World Bank. These case studies are framed, at the outset, by an introductory chapter on sexual rights policies across countries and cultures that seeks to describe some of the conceptual architecture as well as the collaborative process that was used in developing these studies, and at the end, by a crosscutting analysis of the local and global politics of sex and reproduction that seeks to offer a preliminary analysis of at least some of the issues that emerge from a comparative reading of the diverse case studies included in this work. (excerpt)