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CEDPA NETWORK. 1995 Jan; 1-2.The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) that was held in Cairo during September adopted a 20-year Programme of Action endorsing the empowerment of women as the foundation of sustainable development. 178 countries and more than a 1000 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), from 100 countries attended the conference and the parallel NGO forum. The final document sets out specific steps for achievement of universal access to a full range of voluntary, quality family planning and reproductive health services for women and men; provision of services for the special needs of adolescents; closure of the gender gap in education; and empowerment of women via education, health care, and economic options. The CEDPA network of alumnae from 30 countries had worked over the 3 years prior to the conference for the inclusion of women's priorities in policies and to achieve consensus among the government and NGO caucuses. 14 alumnae, including Peggy Curlin (CEDPA President and US delegate), were appointed to their countries' delegations and directly influenced the Programme of Action. The NGO Forum provided a place to exchange experiences and expertise; CEDPA mounted an exhibit, "Empowering Women." The network's theme was "Access, Choice, and Participation." With support from the United Nations Population Fund, CEDPA developed a manual, "After Cairo: A Handbook on Advocacy for Women Leaders," which has been distributed at training sessions and workshops and was translated into French (with support from the US Agency for International Development in Mali) for distribution at the Dakar conference in November in preparation for the World Conference on Women. CEDPA and The Global Committee for Cairo honored the secretary-general of the conference, Dr. Nafis Sadik, for her leadership of the ICPD and UNFPA, and Aziza Hussein, co-chair of the NGO steering committee, at a luncheon; Dr. Sadik received the Global Committee for Cairo Award. Planning the implementation of the Programme of Action has already begun among CEDPA partners and network NGOs. Advocacy networks have already been organized in India and Kenya, with support from CEDPA, to monitor and promote the Programme of Action.
FOCUS ON GENDER. 1994 Jun; 2(2):6-12.A broad overview was provided of the changes occurring in women's health in the context of donors. In the 1990s, women's health issues began to be addressed by reproductive health rather than by family planning and maternal and child health programs in official and nongovernmental development programs (NGOs). The World Health Organization definition of reproductive health includes the right of to regulate and control their own fertility. There is international donor recognition, such as the United Nations Population Fund support for the WHO definition, children by choice, and reproductive health services for women. Family planning programs have tended to use the "welfare approach" of targeting women as mothers, and their children. Welfare programs began distribution of contraceptives, when the US Agency for International Development began in the 1960s its policy of contraceptive promotion. Target populations in developing countries were reached through social welfare and health service programs, which included women as passive recipients. The issues of poverty, environmental degradation, and violence were unheeded. The period of 1975-85 marked the emergence of discussion about women's role in society. Links were made between high fertility and low status. The research focus was on determinants of fertility decline, regardless of equity issues. Women were encouraged to become involved in political, social, economic, and education activities as a means of creating a "favorable climate for pursuing population...goals." The development literature relegated women to the subordinate position of meeting demographic objectives. The focus on poverty alleviation opened up the literature to the complexities of the relationships between fertility, education, and work. Empowerment has grown out of the framework and enhanced development. Reproductive health programs are still limited in their offerings, but there has been expansion through the linkages with NGOs. Women's preparatory meetings before the Cairo conference have stressed that gender equity and reproductive rights be placed within a broad framework with policy support.
International Family Planning Perspectives. 1993 Jun; 19(2):61-6.The constituents of women, population, and the environment proved to be explosive when representatives from the 3 groups came together during preparations for the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which took place in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. In its aftermath, feminists, population planning advocates, and environmental activists were concerned about the direction of their respective movements and the future of cooperative ventures. The key parties desire reconciliation, as time is approaching for meetings sponsored by the UN: the International Conference on Population and Development, in Cairo in 1994, and the next international women's conference, in Beijing, China, in 1995. Representatives of a wide array of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) confronted the government delegations during the final governmental preparatory committee meeting in New York just prior to UNCED. The draft of the meeting's official document, known as Agenda 21, made a compelling case for the population-environment link. The US delegation sent by the Bush Administration insisted on deleting from Agenda 21 any references to changes in behavior aimed at reducing consumption in the industrialized world. The Vatican's goal was to deemphasize the population issue in the global environmental debate and to eliminate any mention of family planning (FP). In Rio at UNCED, many prominent government delegates addressed population stabilization for sustainable development. Population planning and environmental activists insisted that rapid population growth is a critical international issue and that FP can be perceived as a social and individual good. Many feminists would prefer that the world debate about population focus less on fertility-related phenomenon and more on how population size and growth affect a particular community and lifestyle. The National Wildlife Federation observed that environmentalists must devote more attention to the consumption issue in the industrialized world.