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‘Leaving no one behind’ in action: observations from FGE’sseven-year experience working with civil society.
New York, New York, UN Women, . 8 p.This brief contains observations from the Fund for Gender Equality’s (FGE) seven-year experience working with civil society. Gender equality is at the forefront of the 2030 Development Agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals include a stand-alone goal to advance equality, and gender-related targets mainstreamed across the Global Goals. If something has opened a door for drastic progress in the lives of women and girls worldwide, it is the principle of leaving no one behind. Leaving no one behind means prioritizing human beings’ dignity and placing the progress of the most marginalized communities first—women and girls being all too often at the top of the list. It urges us to address the structural causes of inequality and marginalization that affect them. This ambitious undertaking requires a collective effort to identify and share effective strategies to operationalize this concept. This brief offers practical insights based on the experience of the FGE in working with marginalized populations through its support to women-led civil society organizations (CSOs).
Journal of International Women's Studies. 2007 Nov; 9(1):212-233.This essay analyzes the contributions of three Young Women's Christian Association leaders who chaired the nongovernmental organization forum planning committees during the UN Decade for Women (1975-1985). It assesses the effectiveness of their leadership and addresses questions of distribution and uses of power within women's international NGOs and in relationship to the global feminist community. (author's)
Journal of North African Studies. 2008 Mar; 13(1):55-73.This paper examines the current efforts being made in Morocco in the field of women's education and evaluates the success of the Moroccan Development Model in the field of women's education by examining the topic through three lenses: international aid agencies, Moroccan government and royal efforts and the Moroccan Women's Movement. Consideration of the historical, religious and economic frameworks for each actor maintains priority within the study as a means of evaluating the progress made to date, the current status of women's education and the long-term goals and timeframes. The findings within this paper are primarily based on UN statistics, ratings, and definitions as well as other reputable sources such as the World Bank. Sources used include magazine articles, websites, academic journals and papers, and sociological, political and anthropological books on Morocco and women. It must be noted that this evaluation focuses on Anglophone and Francophone sources only and does not consider Arabophone sources. (author's)
London, England, International Community of Women Living with HIV / AIDS, 2006.  p.WHO supported ICW to map positive women's experiences of access to care and treatment in three countries - Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania. The findings will contribute to advocacy for increased political support and resources to address gendered barriers to care, treatment and support. The project complements a mapping and database of civil society organizations (CSOs) providing treatment by the French consortium - SIDACTION. This mapping presents results from three focus group discussions with HIV positive women conducted in two districts of Tanzania - Arusha and Moshi (2006). Women who participated in these focus group discussions were aged between 30 to 45. Most of them came from villages Munduli (Arusha) and Seliani (Moshi). Three focus groups were also conducted with men only in Arusha. A mixed-sex focus group was conducted in Chalinze in the Bagamoyo district (Dar es Salaam coastal area) with men and women aged between 35 and 42. There were between 12 - 15 participants in each group in Arusha and Mosh. However, in Chalinze there were only 8 people. Results from the mixed sex and men only focus groups are presented here but the main emphasis is on the results from the women only focus groups. Medical personnel were also interviewed and their experiences are included. (excerpt)
London, England, International Community of Women Living with HIV / AIDS, 2006.  p.Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania. The findings will contribute to advocacy for increased political support and resources to address gendered barriers to care, treatment and support. The project complements a mapping and database of civil society organizations (CSOs) providing treatment by the French consortium - SIDACTION. The research was carried out in Homabay (rural) and Kibera community (urban) involving women and men living with HIV and AIDS (13th December 2005 - 31st January 2006). Data was gathered through questionnaires and focus group discussions (FGDs). Women who participated in the focus group discussions were aged between 22 - 45 years old and in total 100 people took part in the project, including questionnaire respondents. The service providers in both sites were of varied age group (28-45 years) and both female and male service providers participated in the focus group discussions. Results from the mixed sex and service provider focus groups are presented here but the main emphasis is onthe results from the women only focus groups. (excerpt)
Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 2003 Dec 31; 9(4): p..Different international legal agreements have been arrived at by nations to deal with the global problem of discrimination against women, the most important of which is the Convention on the Elmination of All Eorms of Discrimination against Women (the Women's Convention). This paper discusses the importance of the Optional Protocol to the Women's Convention for Asian women, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1999. It provides for an individual complaint procedure against violations of women's rights and allows the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to conduct special investigations into violations of women's rights. Asian countries have been very slow to ratify the Protocol. Many Asian women are not aware of the potential gains and protection that could come from international human rights law for women. To benefit from the Optional Protocol, women's groups and NGOs in Asia would have to promote the idea of individual complaints against their own governments through education and publicity. Their support to individual women to pursue their cases at the international level is deemed indispensable. (author's)
Women's rights body reviews reports from 8 States - United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
UN Chronicle. 1987 Aug; 24: p..LEGAL, judicial and administrative measures taken to guarantee equality of women's rights in political, economic, social and cultural fields in eight countries were reviewed by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) at its sixth session (Vienna 30 March-10 April). Bangladesh, Colombia, France, Greece, Poland, Republic of Korea, Spain and Sri Lanka reported to the 23-member expert Committee and responded to their comments and questions. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, approved by the General Assembly in 1979, requires the 92 States parties to guarantee a just distribution of rights and obligations among men and women. Among principles enunciated in the Convention are those relating to affirmative action, maternity protection measures, abolition of prostitution, rights of rural women and de facto equality in family relations, employment, education and cultural and political life. States parties are also asked to report periodically on action they have taken to give effect to the Convention's provisions. (excerpt)
Rwanda: over 1 million refugees return in last half of 1996 - includes related articles on Rwanda's food economy and Women's Collective. [Rwanda : plus d'un million de réfugiés de retour au pays au cours de la deuxième moitié de l'année 1996 - selon des indications issues d'articles portant sur l'économie alimentaire du Rwanda et le Collectif des femmes]
UN Chronicle. 1996 Winter; 33(4): p..An estimated 1.3 million refugees returned to Rwanda between July 1996 and the beginning of January 1997, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Out of that total, an estimated 720,000 came back from camps in Zaire after the intensification of hostilities in the eastern part of that country in August and September. The overwhelming majority returned in November. A further exodus of refugees - this time from the United Republic of Tanzania - began later in the year and ended in early January 1997, bringing another 485,000 Rwandans home. Since July, 88,000 refugees have also returned from Burundi, with several thousand others coming from Uganda. The Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Raymond Chretien of Canada, said on 13 December the realization that a temporary multinational humanitarian force might be deployed on the ground, following the Security Council's authorization of such a force on 15 November (S/RES/1080(1996)), had "accelerated tremendously the return of refugees". Speaking to the press at United Nations Headquarters, he called it "an indication that the international community could make a difference if it had the will to do so". (excerpt)
The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD): what the Programme of Action really says.
New York, New York, International Women's Health Coalition [IWHC], . 7 p.Organized efforts to address key global health challenges of relevance to women—from childhood illnesses to basic family planning—began some 40 years ago. With encouragement from business, experts, and others, the United States played a leading role in launching international health efforts, which enjoyed broad political support in the country during the Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations. As a result, tremendous progress has been made in international health: Global life expectancy has doubled; Children’s health has been enhanced; Maternal mortality has been reduced; Preventable diseases have been eliminated; Women’s health and rights have been lifted. (excerpt)
New York, New York, International Women's Health Coalition [IWHC], . 2 p.Today, about 1 billion people are between 10 and 19 years of age, 85% of them in developing countries. The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development recognized that adolescents have a special need for sexual and reproductive health information, education and services, and that these services must respect the right of adolescents to privacy. Many women around the world marry as adolescents. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, at least half of young women enter their first marriage or union by age 18 (e.g. Mali, Niger - more than 75% of young women; Cameroon, Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria - more than 50%). In Egypt and the Sudan, the proportion is 27%, but in Yemen, it is 49%. In Latin America and the Caribbean, between 20 and 40% of adolescent women in countries such as Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago are married before age 18. Across Asia, the likelihood of early marriage is quite variable: 73% of women in Bangladesh enter a union by age 18, compared with 14% in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and 5% in China. (excerpt)
Development. 2005; 48(1):101-106.Carol Barton reflects on the concerns of women’s movements about the millennium development goals (MDGs). She argues that the MDGs can potentially be used as an instrument to advance a global feminist agenda to the extent that feminist organizations define the terms of the debate. She presents the intense debates among women’s organizations about how to engage with the MDGs and how they link to Beijing, Cairo and CEDAW. (author's)
Popularizing women's human rights at the local level: a grassroots methodology for setting the international agenda.
In: Women's rights, human rights: international feminist perspectives, edited by Julie Peters and Andrea Wolper. New York, New York, Routledge, 1995. 189-194.Women working at local and international levels must reach out to each other so that the experiences, discoveries, and agendas of one group can inform and influence the work of the other. In Vienna, women from diverse regions and with varied kinds of experience worked together to create a unified agenda for advocacy in the international arena. That they were able to do so is in itself a victory. But though Vienna may have brought the movement for women's human rights to a new threshold, it was only a stepping stone. The challenge for advocates of women's human rights remains: to contribute to the empowerment of women in everyday life; to make a tangible difference in women's lives by implementing the kinds of change they themselves choose; and to hold the United Nations and individual governments accountable for the needs and rights of women in their own very diverse communities and in the global governance. That challenge must be met at every level and in every possible venue. (excerpt)
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: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 165-181.This chapter examines women's organizations in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. It describes their emergence, activities, and programs and the changes in their activities over time. It then assesses the impact of these organizations in addressing gender issues associated with the conflict. Finally, it discusses the nature of assistance provided to them by the international community and the areas of tension between them. The chapter is based largely on the information obtained during interviews conducted by the author with the leaders and staff of women's organizations, staffs of international organizations, representatives of the donor agencies that support women's organizations, and a cross section of Bosnian women. Five organizations were selected as case studies to illustrate different activities and the types of development and expansion that have taken place in the past few years. (excerpt)
Women's organizations in El Salvador: history, accomplishments, and international support. [Organizaciones femeninas en El Salvador: historia, logros y apoyo internacional]
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 183-203.Women's organizations in El Salvador have undergone a unique evolution, first in relation to the conditions of war that permeated El Salvador from 1980 to 1992 and then in response to economic restructuring and the challenges of democratization following the war. The conditions of El Salvador's civil war, along with the fact that many women's organizations became stronger during the war, have resulted in a unique set of organizations that are marked by their autonomy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Early-conflict women's organizations (1980 to 1985) were characterized by their attachment to a wide range of popular grass-roots organizations and attempts to incorporate women into these groups. Many of these organizations mobilized women around economic issues, survival in the war, and human rights. A few formed in this period began to work with battered women and to question women's legal, political, and domestic subordination. Few, however, were willing to embrace the concept of feminism. Late-conflict and post-conflict women's organizations (1986 to 2001) are characterized by women challenging gender hierarchies within mixed grass-roots organizations and putting forth a gendered discourse on specific women's rights, ranging from violence against women to inequities in the labor force. Feminism also became more prevalent during this time. In this chapter we look at the particular changes found in women's organizations and link them to specific historical, social, and economic circumstances. We then evaluate what the impact of women's organizations has been in terms of empowering Salvadoran women and make recommendations for international donor organizations so that they can better serve Salvadoran women's organizations. (excerpt)
International assistance to women's organizations. [Ayuda internacional a las organizaciones femeninas]
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 205-214.Several factors have led the international donor community to support women's organizations both during and after conflict. One obvious factor is that because of lack of resources, shortage of skilled personnel, and general decline in the morale of the staff, public bureaucracies become extremely fragile in war-torn societies. They are often unable to provide urgently needed social services to the suffering populace. Therefore, the international community tends to develop partnerships with voluntary organizations, including women's organizations, to provide essential assistance to the needy people. There are two additional reasons for the international donor community to support women's organizations. First, by virtue of their leadership and commitment, these organizations are better able to reach women than are male-dominated or mixed civil-society organizations. Their staff members can easily empathize with the intended women beneficiaries, who in turn feel more at ease in sharing their problems with them. Second, the international community also sees in women's organizations potential for empowering women. In addition to channeling assistance, they contribute to the social and psychological empowerment of women by teaching self-reliance and leadership skills. (excerpt)
Monday Developments. 2004 Jan 12; 22(1):7.The Bush administration has continually paid lip-service to international women's rights during its tenure, with little or no action to back up its words. In this past year alone, numerous issues that have a tremendous impact on women's lives around the world have been dismissed with sugar-coated words about U.S. concern and support. The most obvious examples of this are in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Bush ad- ministration has repeatedly touted its support for women's rights, but these rights are not possible without security and legal guarantees. Equal rights for Afghan women must be specifically guaranteed in the new constitution. In Iraq, there were no women on the constitutional committee and only three women on the U.S. appointed Governing Council, one of whom was assassinated because of inadequate security. In both of these situations the United States has the ability to back up its rhetoric on women's active political participation but has so far failed to do so. (excerpt)
What are maternal health policies in developing countries and who drives them? A review of the last half-century.
In: Safe motherhood strategies: a review of the evidence, edited by Vincent De Brouwere, Wim Van Lerberghe. Antwerp, Belgium, ITGPress, 2001. 412-445. (Studies in Health Services Organisation and Policy No. 17)This paper examines maternal health policies in developing countries and identifies contributions made by policy makers, health professionals and users. It starts by reviewing the broader health systems within which maternity services sit, and the specific maternity-service configurations that appear to lead to low maternal mortality. Next, it lays out the main actors (politicians and policy makers, health professionals and women’s groups) operating internationally. This is followed by presenting the maternal health policy agenda at the international level and discussing the ideological paradigms that influenced these policies. Mention of the main actors (as above but including and organised groups of service users) at the national level is more superficial, but examples of the impact of various actors on national-level maternal health policies are given. The overall aim is to better understand how policies have developed and to suggest lessons and ways forward for the future. (author's)
Gender, Technology and Development. 2001 Sep-Dec; 5(3):341-364.Empowering women of forest based societies to participate in local forest management has become an essential rhetorical commitment of donor funded 'participatory' forestry projects and state policies for devolution of forest management. Instead of increasing women's empowerment, the top-down interventions of a World Bank funded forestry project in Uttarakhand are doing the opposite by disrupting and marginalizing their own struggles and achievements, transferring power and authority to the forest department and local elite men. A number of case studies illustrate the project's insensitivity to the dynamic functioning of existing self-governing institutions and the women's ongoing struggles within them to gain greater voice and control over forest resources for improving their quality of life and livelihood security. The article argues for active engagement of forest women and their communities in the policy and project formulation process itself, which permits building upon women's and men's own initiatives and struggles while strengthening gender-equal democratization of self-governing community forestry institutions. (author's)
Women's Health Journal. 2003 Apr-Jun; (2):13-15.I feel that such opportunities are very important because in general the women's health movement has not been very involved in the analysis of neoliberal reforms in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, it is interesting to note that in the 1980s and 90s the women's movement -unlike the movement in defense of health- addressed the issue of health from a rights-based perspective, even though this term was not yet used. Those of us who were involved in the movement to defend health talked about how to apply the reform, how to improve it, but the issue of health as a right was not in our discourse. Based on this experience, it is important that organized women become involved in the analysis of the reform, At one point, the international agencies called together those of us specializing in gender and other key representatives of the women's movement to contribute a gender perspective to the neoliberal reforms. In hindsight, it is clear that we weren't on the same page: a perspective based on rights as the guiding principle for analyzing health was attempting to interface with an approach to health that has absolutely nothing to do with rights. In order to overcome this impasse, the women's movement needs to strengthen its alliances with other sectors critical of the neoliberal reforms and learn more about other non-neoliberal proposals for health sector reform such as that implemented in Brazil, for example. Of course, we must not forget Cuba's reform which was developed in the context of a revolutionary process. (excerpt)
Child support as a strategic interest: la Asociación de Madres Demandantes of El Salvador. [La cuota alimenticia como interés estratégico: Asociación de Madres Demandantes de El Salvador]
Gender and Development. 2003 Jul; 11(2):60-69.Among certain social sectors in El Salvador, couples have not necessarily engaged informal marriages. But with the economic and political crisis of the 1980s, many poor Salvador women were left with the sole financial responsibility for their children. With the 'modernisation' of the state in the post-war period, more of those women began to seek the assistance of the state in securing child support. This paper looks at the process that women had to go through to access that support and explores how Mujeres pot La Dignidad y La Vida (Women for Dignity and Life), afeminist organisation created out of the Salvadoran civil war, mobilised women to challenge institutionalised gender roles reflected in that process. The conflicts that arose within the new organisation they formed, the Asociacion de Madres Demandantes (Association of Mothers Seeking Child Support), highlight thedifferent interests of the women being organised and those organising them. These conflicts were intensified by the policies of donor organisations that supported the work of the Association. (author's)
The safety and feasibility of female condom reuse: report of a WHO consultation, 28-29 January 2002, Geneva.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2002. , 15 p.According to the recommendations of the first consultation, this second meeting (January 2002) was planned to review the resulting data and to develop further guidance on the safety of reuse of the female condom. The specific objectives and anticipated outcomes of this second consultation were to: Review the results and evaluate the implications of the recently completed microbiology and structural integrity experiments and the human use study; Develop a protocol or set of instructions for disinfecting and cleaning used female condoms safely; Outline future research areas and related issues for programme managers to consider when determining the balance of risks and benefits of female condom reuse in various contexts and settings. (excerpt)
Journal of Health and Population in Developing Countries. 2003 Jul 2;  p..The trend and predictors of infertility are not well known in sub-Saharan Africa. A nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS) was conducted in Tanzania in 1991/92, 1996 and 1999, enabling a trend study of infertility. Logistic regression was used to determine the predictors of infertility. The prevalence of primary infertility was about 2.5%, and secondary infertility was about 18%. There was no change between the 1991/92, 1996 and 1999 TDHS. The risk of primary infertility was higher in the Dar es Salaam and Coast regions than in other regions and secondary infertility was higher in the Dar es Salaam region. The Dar es Salaam and Coast regions are known for also having elevated levels of HIV/AIDS. Because sexual practices and sexually transmitted diseases are strong predictors of pathological infertility and HIV infection in Africa, we recommend that concerted efforts be made to integrate the prevention of new incidences of infertility with the HIV/AIDS campaigns. (author's)
Guttmacher Report on Public Policy. 2003 Aug; 6(3):4-5, 14.In the United States and other developed countries, where Pap tests are widely available and easily accessible, deaths from cervical cancer have plunged in recent decades, even in the presence of high HPV rates. Death rates remain high in developing countries because women lack access to Pap tests or other effective screening programs. The evidence strongly suggests, then, that while keeping the focus on HPV and its sexual transmission may be politically useful in advancing a morality-based, abstinence-until- marriage agenda, a more realistic campaign against cervical cancer deaths would focus on increasing access to cervical cancer screening among women around the world. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2003 Jul 9. 15 p.How can information and communication technologies (ICT) be used to promote gender equality in developing nations and to empower women? This essay seeks to deal with that issue, and with the gender effects of the “information revolution.” While obvious linkages will be mentioned, the essay seeks to go beyond the obvious to deal with some of the indirect causal paths of the information revolution on the power of women and equality between the sexes. This is the third1 in a series of essays dealing with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As such, it deals specifically with Goal 3: to promote gender equality and to empower women. It is published to coincide with the International Conference on Gender and Science and Technology. The essay will also deal with the specific targets and indicators for Goal 3. (excerpt)