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  1. 1

    Creating common ground in Asia: women's perspectives on the selection and introduction of fertility regulation technologies.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction

    Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO]. Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, 1994. 45 p.

    Participants from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other countries with which WHO's Special Programme of Research, Development, and Research Training in Human Reproduction collaborates and in which women's groups are active attended the Asian regional meeting on Women's Perspectives on the Research and Introduction of Fertility Regulation Technologies in February 1991. The meeting aimed to establish a dialogue between women's groups and researchers, policymakers, and family planning service providers. Other objectives included defining women's needs and viewpoints on reproductive health and fertility regulating technologies and identifying appropriate follow-up activities which would form a basis for regional networking. WHO's Special Programme of Research, Development, and Research Training in Human Reproduction published a report of the meeting. The meeting consisted of plenary sessions, group work, and keynote presentations. Presentations addressed women's realities, policy considerations, research, and service provision. Topics concerning women's realities were community attitudes towards fertility and its control, women's autonomy, health status, and family planning services. Presentations on policy considerations covered: taking users into account, objectives of family planning programs, participation in decision making, and men's responsibility. Redefining safety and acceptability as well as research on female barrier methods were addressed during presentations on research. The report presents proposals for action for Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Meeting participants reached a consensus on recommendations addressing policy, research, services, and WHO. The report concludes with a list of participants and a list of papers presented.
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  2. 2

    From family planning and maternal and child health to reproductive health.

    Mosse JC

    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.
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  3. 3

    Needed: a brave and angry plan.

    Anand A

    POPULI. 1993 Feb; 20(2):12-3.

    The Delhi Declaration and Vision 2000 is IPPF's strategic plan for directing efforts through the end of the 20th century. This brave and angry plan points out the need for IPPF to interact more closely with women's groups and nongovernmental organizations to address the needs of marginalized people. Women's status is lower than that of men in most societies. During the 1980s, family planning (FP) programs in some developing countries (e.g., Bangladesh, Brazil, India, and Mexico) directly or structurally pressured women to become sterilized or take part in clinical trials of injectable contraceptives and subdermal implants. IPPF calls for more funds from donor governments for research and development because pharmaceutical companies do the research, but lawsuits, adverse publicity, and consumer campaigns have resulted in reduced pharmaceutical company supported research. Adverse publicity has also been waged against international FP and population control groups, mainly because they do not include women in decision-making roles in all aspects of contraception research. The Declaration calls for a wider women's role in making decisions affecting FP, sexual health, and reproductive rights. Developed and developing countries should share power and freedom. Contraception has brought about positive changes in women's lives, e.g., better health for mother and child. About 51% of couples in developing countries use FP methods, but 300 - 500 million married women who want to use contraceptive still do not have access to it. Since religion, tradition, and peer pressure influence family size, public education is needed. The media needs to become more objective when they report on FP successes rather than on 1 problematic sterilization. AIDS, more unsafe abortions, and unwanted pregnancies make this brave and angry plan even more relevant to addressing today's needs.
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