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Transnational movements and world politics: the international women's health movement and population policy [abstract]
DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS INTERNATIONAL. 1997; 58(4-A):1440.This dissertation seeks to explain the emergence of the international women's health movement (IWHM), its opposition to international population control policies, and its effects on the population agendas of major international institutions. To do so, it describes the rise of the IWHM, its strategies and tactics over the last 2 decades, and what changes its efforts have brought about in the agendas of three international institutions: the Population Council, the US Agency for International Development, and the decennial UN population conferences. Although much has been written recently about the ways in which the international environmental and right-to-life movements have affected international population policy, no one has looked carefully at what role the international women's movement has played. I argue that the IWHM played a significant role in engendering a conceptual shift in the debate on international population policy, added new issues to institutional agendas, and reshaped the consciousness of population planners. I show that it has accomplished these tasks by organizing outside traditional policy channels over the past 2 decades, and by more recent direct engagement in the policy process. The research methods are interpretative and include interviews with women's health advocates and members of population organizations and careful scrutiny of documents, such as speeches, position papers, agency publications, annual reports, budgets, conference proceedings, and media coverage. By assessing the political influence of the women's health movement in this policy area, this dissertation provides insight into the ways in which transnational movements act upon, shape, and possibly limit the conduct of more traditional actors in the international system. It also sheds light on the conditions under which international institutions respond to pressure from outside constituencies. (full text)
Development. 1999 Mar; 42(1):33-7.This article on the European response to the challenge of implementing the goals of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) opens by acknowledging that the European Commission (EC) is placing gender and reproductive health on its agenda but that progress has been slow. Next, the article introduces the advocacy groups that seek to promote an enhanced understanding of the population, development, reproductive health paradigm in the EC. The third section considers whether the "new" alliance called for by the ICPD between governments at all levels and nongovernmental organizations is working. One positive example given is the dialogue established between NGOs and the UK All Parliamentary Group on Population, Development, and Reproductive Health. It is noted, however, that more national-level agenda-setting and mobilization are needed to implement the ICPD goals. Next, the article reviews the "old" population/development tension and concerns about the continued existence of demographically-driven, coercive family planning programs and a dearth of development NGOs working with population NGOs. The article explores this problem in the next section and asserts that the population/development tension was not magically dissolved by the ICPD and that neither population nor development NGOs have all the answers but should share resources and engage in more dialogue. The article concludes that continued progress in implementing the ICPD goals will require a careful look at successful partnerships; finding ways to support an exchange of knowledge, views, and experiences; and fostering a working climate of openness.
Women's Declaration on Population Policies (in preparation for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development).
In: Towards women-centred reproductive health. Part 2. Ideas for action, [compiled by] Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women [ARROW]. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ARROW, 1994. 30-5. (Information Package No. 1)In 1992, women's health advocates representing women's groups throughout the world met to create this draft declaration on population policies, for which they would seek widespread endorsement and which they would contribute to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. The document opens by listing seven fundamental ethical principles that must be honored by population policies and programs in order to assure women's well-being. These principles cover women's ability to make responsible decisions for themselves; women's rights to express their sexuality as they wish; women's rights to decide whether, how, and when to have children as well as how many children to have; men's responsibility for their own sexual behavior and fertility; violence against women and harmful traditional practices; and the necessity of including women in all aspects of decision-making. The minimum requirements of population programs are seen as 1) seeking a reduction and elimination of all pervasive inequalities suffered by women; 2) supporting women's organizations committed to women's reproductive health and rights and linked to women to be served; 3) assuring appropriate, affordable, good quality, comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care for women of all ages (without incentives or disincentives); 4) developing and providing the widest possible range of contraceptives to meet women's multiple needs throughout their lives; 5) ensuring sufficient financial resources to meet these goals; and 6) seeking wider social, political, and economic transformation to equalize the status of women with that of men. Specific priority actions include filling at least half of decision-making posts with women, increasing financial resources by 400%, allocating 20% of available resources to women's health and reproductive rights organizations, and instituting accountability measures.
Development. 1994; (1):56-8.The expected Cairo conference on population and development, scheduled for September 1994, generated some preconceptions, such as competing self-interests vying for key roles in determining rights, desires, and concepts. The conference constituencies include national governments, international donors, family planning agencies, UN and affiliate agencies, environmentalist groups, churches, the Vatican, researchers, physicians, industry, and women's health advocates. Historically, population has been the domain of "quantitative, interventionist perspectives" and has been reflected in the writings of Hobbes and Malthus. The Malthusian notions of spiralling population increases and resource needs for survival have dominated. The uniqueness and abilities of individuals to be able to make responsible decisions about reproduction has frequently been lost in population policies. There has been a lack of consideration of the personal rights and social inequalities within diverse classes, races, ethnic groups, gender designations, and economic classes. Prior population conferences have neglected the issue of development. The forthcoming conference will bring together diverse actors and their postures on population policy, equality and social justice, reproductive health and rights, and development. Women have been in the past absent from discussions, which has resulted in harmful decisions for poor women of the South. Family planning groups have claimed success, but as in the case of Brazil, there have been prices paid. The feminist perspective for the forthcoming conference has enlarged the concept of democracy and individual rights and the issue of control over one's body. Education, information, employment, and social welfare are argued as necessary for empowerment of women and responsible fertility decisions. Women's groups at the Cairo conference will try to make the principles of equity, social dignity, and women's rights and autonomy central to the discussion and included in national plans and international treaties. There is an awareness that population, development, and women's groups must work together toward a common agenda.
FPAN NEWSLETTER. 1995 Jan-Feb; 15(1):1-3.The International Planned Parenthood Federation/South Asia Region organized a 3-day seminar on Post ICPD Challenges; it was held February 6-8, 1995, in New Delhi, India. 48 participants attended, including Mr. Ram Krishna Neupane (FPA Nepal; Director General), Mr. Prabhat Rana (FPA Nepal; Director, Program Support Services Division), Ms. Prabha Thakkar (Manusi), Ms. Maya Giri (Radio Nepal), and Ms. Ami Joshi (Center for Women in Development). Ms. Avabai B. Wadia, President of the Family Planning Association of India, chaired the inaugural session; Mr. G. Verghees made the inaugural address. Dr. Indira Kapoor (IPPF/ASR; Regional Director), Dr. Pramila Senanayake (IPPF; Assistant Secretary General), and Mrs. Sunetra Puri (IPPF; Director, Public Affairs Department) presented papers on different topics highlighting the linkage between the IPPF VISION 2000 and the ICPD Plan of Action, and the need for a collaborating program in this area. Plenary presentation and discussions were held to provide an overview of plans to take the ICPD forward on women's issues (the empowerment of women, unsafe abortion, sexual and reproductive health). Dr. Ram Krishna Neupane represented Nepalese views in this area. This seminar was the first of its kind to draw together representatives of the media, women's organizations, and service providers; it was successful in eradicating misconceptions regarding the modern methods of contraception, in clarifying the misunderstandings between the media and the service providers, in strengthening commitment, and in preparing a plan of action for each member country in order to implement the ICPD Plan of Action.
CEDPA NETWORK. 1993 Oct; 1-2.The Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) encouraged representatives from women's nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to attend the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt. ICPD policy makers held issues meetings in September, 1993, for women's NGOs. the ICPD will have a direct bearing on women's issues such as access to family planning, reproductive health care, the fate of girls, and gender equality. 31 alumni of CEDPA met with UN officials and other NGO leaders at the second ICPD Preparatory Committee meeting in New York. CEDPA was encouraged that US policy supported women-managed and women-centered health services. CEDPA president Peggy Curlin recommends health and girl's education as the best means for improving the quality of life in developing countries. CEDPA has a Leadership and Advocacy Project, which promotes women's leadership in population policy at ICPD, regionally, and nationally. CEDPA recommends that women's NGOs and CEDPA link up with appropriate regional networks (in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan). Women can become involved in the ICPD by becoming an NGO representative to the conference. Women can also become involved by writing to CEDPA about their concerns regarding gender equity and women's empowerment, reproductive rights, girl child initiatives, and adequate resources for NGOs.
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.
ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY. 1994 Aug 20; 29(34):2,201-4.The aim of US-promoted population policies is maintaining and securing the economic and political dominance of capitalist states. Governments of developed countries blame overpopulation in developing countries for destroying the planet and those of developing countries blame overconsumption, waste, and industrial pollution in the capitalist countries to be responsible. Developed countries and the UN profess that population control is in the interests of development and for the sake of women's rights. Many women's groups protest planned and already existing population policies and bear witness to the suffering women from developing countries experience, raising the question of choice of these policies. Sexism served as the smokescreen behind which US strategies of population control were implemented. The concept of sustainable development is also used to advance population policies in developing countries. Developed countries use this concept to maintain the status quo, agricultural countries as such, cash crop economies, dependency on food, foreign aid, and loans and to continue their exploitation in developing countries. USAID, UNFPA, and the World Bank are the major moneylenders for population control. The US targets Africa for population control because it produces 90-100% of four minerals vital to US industry. The new phase of capitalist development has shifted the state's role from its function as a nation state to facilitator of global capital. Population control policy, national security laws, and anti-trade union laws are used to create a docile and immobile pool of labor. The World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO, through their structural adjustment policies, provide the infrastructure to implement population policies and targets. Population policies focusing on targets take control away from women. People in developing countries will not accept these population policies until they have control of their lives. They need assurance of child survival and to be in a position to plan their future. The population control lobby now uses deception to thwart resistance.
Washington, D.C., CEDPA, . , 16,  p.The Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), an international organization, was founded in 1975 to empower women at all levels of society to be full partners in development. CEDPA's 1993 Annual Report describes the contribution of CEDPA network partners to the preparations for the 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development. CEDPA efforts on behalf of women are focused on 1) the provision of family planning and related reproductive health care services, 2) education for girls, and 3) training women leaders and managers in population and development. In each area, CEDPA works to expand women's access, choice, and participation in population and development policy, implementation, and decision making. This report includes the 1993 balance sheets for the organization and lists of supporters, sponsors, members of the board of directors, and staff. CEDPA's 1993 activities in the areas of family planning, AIDS prevention, maternal and child health, adolescent fertility, health education, family life education, skills training/income generation, literacy training, management training, institution building, the environment, and policy advocacy are indicated on a table which shows the country (Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Turkey, and Uganda) and name of specific projects.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. 1994 Aug 17; 7, 14.World population is 5.66 billion and is expected, based on the UN medium variant, to reach 10 billion by 2050. About 50% of world population is aged under 25 years, and anticipated reproductive activity of this population would mean that, even with a family limitation of 2 children, population stabilization may occur in 50 or more years. Urgency in responding to population growth is necessary because doubling time is rapid; Africa will double its population in 35 years from 720 million to 1.6 billion, and Asia will grow in 35 years from 3.4 billion to 5.1 billion. The rate of growth is 94 million annually or 250,000 daily. 90% of growth is in developing countries. Rapid growth puts tremendous pressure on government to provide food, housing, jobs, and social services. Hope lies in the 180 million reproductive-age women who desire to space their pregnancies or to stop childbearing. Estimates are as high as 350 million who have no access to family planning. If contraceptive use rates increase from the present 55% to at least 60% worldwide, family size would be lowered to just under 3 per family. The Cairo Conference on Population and Development scheduled for September 1994 will focus on women's needs. Women's groups have helped shape the conference issues and strengthened their arguments for a family planning approach that emphasizes reproductive health throughout the life cycle and a wider range of contraceptive choices and counseling. Gender bias that is reinforced by custom, law, and government must be lifted. Resources, jobs, and educational opportunity must be provided for women. Thailand and South Korea are good examples of how empowering women with high-quality family planning programs and equitable social policies that provide women access to education, jobs, and credit can lead to lower fertility. Economic development and environmental protection are other beneficial effects of empowerment of women. Many empirical studies have found an inverse relationship between fertility and female education. Nafis Sadik, director of the UN Population Fund and conference chairperson, stated that population issues will be solved when couples decide for themselves that smaller families are in their own best interests. The responsibility of the international community is to provide the conditions that are conducive for couples to make that choice. For example, advertising campaigns have been successful in convincing men that it is more "macho" to have children with shoes and schoolbooks than children with none.
In: Reproductive Health and Justice. International Women's Health Conference for Cairo '94, January 24-28, 1994, Rio de Janeiro. New York, New York, International Women's Health Coalition, 1994. 25.This Appendix to the proceedings of the International Women's Health Conference for Cairo 1994, held in Rio de Janeiro January 24-28, 1994, lists 13 documents used a background materials for the conference. The majority are declarations, resolutions, and position papers from countries including Mexico, US, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, on women and population. These statements were produced as part of the discussion in the international women's movement leading up to the United National International Conference on Population and Development to be held in Cairo in September 1994.
In: Reproductive Health and Justice. International Women's Health Conference for Cairo '94, January 24-28, 1994, Rio de Janeiro. New York, New York, International Women's Health Coalition, 1994. 29-30.The Media Working Group at the International Women's Health Conferences for Cairo 1994 called the participants' attention to the need to increase coverage of women's issues and women's perspectives on population issues through innovative new strategies. Before and during the Cairo conference, existing media assets should be identified, relationships with new journalists and media managers cultivated, and the official media of international organizations should be sensitized on women's issues. Statistics on women's status should be collected to counter the media exclusive emphasis on population growth. Existing audiovisual materials can be used to promote feminist concepts of social development. Also recommended in publicization of international agreements denouncing discrimination against women in signatory countries that have failed to act on their commitments. After the conference, an emphasis should be placed on disseminating relevant information, cultivating relationships with journalists who can promote women's views, and maintaining media momentum toward the Social Development Summit and 1995 Women's Conference in Beijing.
In: Reproductive Health and Justice. International Women's Health Conference for Cairo '94, January 24-28, 1994, Rio de Janeiro. New York, New York, International Women's Health Coalition, 1994. 8-9.In a presentation to the International Women's Health Conference for Cairo 1994, indigenous women participants described their struggles and conditions for collaboration with international women's groups. Although indigenous populations as a whole are oppressed and marginalized, the consequences are most severe for women given their lack of access to education, information, and professional training. Indigenous peoples are seeking a type of development that facilitates respect for their territory, use of their own resources, and increased participation in the political, social, economic, and cultural life of the nation. Sought is a balance between tradition and modernization, reflected, for example, in bilingualism and the supplementation of traditional medicine with modern Western science. Needed, however, is an end to the dehumanization of indigenous women in reproductive health services and their use, without adequate information, in clinical trials of contraceptive technology. Women's groups are urged to show their solidarity by inviting at least one indigenous woman from each country to international conferences and being conscious not to reproduce colonialist dynamics in their daily work with poor women.
In: Reproductive Health and Justice. International Women's Health Conference for Cairo '94, January 24-28, 1994, Rio de Janeiro. New York, New York, International Women's Health Coalition, 1994. 36-7.Several women from Latin America, who were among the 227 participants at the International Women's Health Conference for Cairo 1994 held in Rio de Janeiro on January 24-28, 1994, presented a declaration to the plenary session. Due to controversy over the declaration's rejection of population policies, and the lack of time for adequate debate on this and other issues, no action was taken on the draft; its general thrust, however, is consistent with other declarations approved at the conference. Of particular concern to the declaration's authors was the tendency of governments and international agencies to blame poverty and environmental destruction on women's fertility. Although governments must guarantee information and education on sexuality and provide the widest range of safe and effective contraceptives, free or at a subsidized price, reproductive decisions are a private matter. Developments should be sought for people, and all national and regional public policies must respond to the needs of human development rather than viewing population as a function of development. The guarantee the quality of life and well-being of women, both forced maternity and forced contraception must be rejected and social recognition awarded to women's attorney. Also urged is the inclusion of indicators that consider gender, race, ethnicity, social class, and sexual orientation in any evaluations of human development policies.
WOMEN'S GLOBAL NETWORK FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS NEWSLETTER. 1994 Jan-Mar; (45):8.Journalists who cover population issues search out information on official policies, demographic rates, scientific positions, and shocking trends. In the process, individuals vanish into the collective. A women's journalism project in Mexico, Women's Information and Communication Center (CIMAC), is endeavoring to change this pattern of reporting, especially in the area of reproductive rights. CIMAC journalists note that it is in discussion with individuals that the real effects of development policies can be understood, not through reliance on official statistics. In addition, CIMAC is stimulating public debate on issues such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the effort toward decentralization through the creation of 100 new cities, labor migration, and environmental destruction. Another focus will be to large participants at the 1994 International Conferences on Population and Development to validate the rights of women.
WOMEN'S GLOBAL NETWORK FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS NEWSLETTER. 1994 Jan-Mar; (45):10-1.This newsletter article summarized discussions on political processes held at the International Women's Health Conference for Cairo 1994. Although the political activists who participated in these discussions differed in terms of tactics and strategies, they were united by their support for reproductive rights and committed to solidarity against practices that dehumanize women. A key debate concerns working inside or outside of the official International Conference on Population and Development process. As long as women are able to maintain their own agenda, avoid co-optation, remain accountable to their constituencies, and not use their power to discredit those on the outside, there is potential for working inside of official bodies. Needed is a balanced scenario, where insiders are empowered by backing from the broader women's movement and outsiders benefit from having their voices heard inside the corridors of power. Women who work within population institutions must be especially vigilant that women's demands are not subsumed under population policies. Also resisted must be the practice of powerful international bodies to appoint, in a top-down manner, so-called experts on women's issues. Community and women's groups must hold female lobbyists and politicians accountable and monitor their actions. A crucial concept for the women's movement is transparency. This encompasses honesty, making commitments is public, clear rules in terms of decision making, and a strong commitment to shared values. Transparency implies acknowledging the power differentials that exist among women and struggling to transcend them through solidarity around a shared vision.
Schools of thought: negotiation analysis applied to interest groups active in international population policy formulation.
[Unpublished] 1993. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 1-3, 1993. 17 p.The international population policy arena, based on negotiation analysis theory and methodology from the literature on conflict resolutions, is examined. 5 interest groups have been identified as influential in international population policy: the population, or population-concerned, community (POP); the market-preference community (MKT); the community representing international distribution concerns (DST); women's health advocates, focusing on women's initiatives (WIN); and the Vatican (VTC). The 5 groups' interest, population issues, preferred policy instruments (PPIs), and beliefs are presented. Asymmetry among these groups is revealed. Limiting solutions to the common ground between 2 such groups addresses only one PPI of the only group whose primary interest is the subject of the policy area, while it satisfies the primary interest of the second group. The most active dialogue in the field since the Earth Summit has been between POP and WIN. There is justification for: 1) refusing to limit the population subject to WIN objectives; 2) proposing an alternate intervention point in support of WIN's concerns about insensitive family planning programs; 3) taking an inclusive or integrative approach to population policy, with WIN and DST concerns incorporated into the process; 4) disaggregating the issues by including many issues not considered by the different groups for discussion, treating some linked pairs of issues as discussion topics in addition to single issues and then reaggregating the issues found to be relevant; and 5) viewing most of the WIN objectives as appropriate subjects for human rights policy, while viewing a number of WIN objectives that are either instrumental to population concerns or responsive to WIN concerns about family planning programs as appropriate components of population policy.
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.