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[Unpublished] 2003 Jul 9. 15 p.How can information and communication technologies (ICT) be used to promote gender equality in developing nations and to empower women?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)
London, England, Commonwealth Secretariat, 1995. 16 p.This brochure describes program initiatives undertaken between July 1993 and June 1995 by the Commonwealth (a voluntary association of 51 sovereign nations) Secretariat to promote gender equality. The main areas of action identified by Commonwealth Ministers Responsible for Women's Affairs in July 1993 were 1) to promote women's rights as human rights and to eliminate violence against women, 2) to increase women's participation in politics and decision-making, 3) to assess the impact of structural adjustment policies on women and ensure that macroeconomic policies are gender-sensitive, 4) to promote the role of women in environmentally sustainable development, and 5) to support women in health management. The 1995 Plan of Action on Gender and Development, which seeks gender integration, provides a strategic framework for action until the year 2000. During 1993-95, the Commonwealth Secretariat 1) helped member governments begin the process of integrating gender issues into national development efforts; 2) emphasized activities to increase information about women's involvement in politics and decision-making; 3) took steps to promote women's human rights; 4) provided information and organized workshops aimed to eliminate violence against women; 5) held workshops and issued reports related to the gender issues involved in macroeconomic planning and programs; 6) worked to develop a training module on women and the environment and prepared manuals and hosted workshops on the experiences of women in natural resources management; and 7) furthered human resource development through five key strategies: well-managed government, partnerships with nongovernmental organizations and the private sector, establishing priority for women and girls, mobilizing resources, and the use of technology. Efforts were also made to help women with HIV/AIDS and women caring for people with HIV/AIDS.
Karachi, Pakistan, APWA, .  p.The All Pakistan Women's Association (APWA), established in 1949 and granted consultative status with the UN in 1952, seeks to further the moral, social, economic, and legal status of Pakistani women and children. On the international level, APWA has played a leading role in promoting collaboration and a sharing of experiences on women's and children's issues among nongovernmental organizations. In addition, the APWA campaigns for international security conflict resolution and disarmament and was the 1987 recipient of the UN Peace Messenger Certificate. Within Pakistan, the provision of health care services to women and children in rural areas, urban slums, and squatter settlements is a priority. 56 family welfare centers have been established by APWA to provide family planning education and services, prenatal care, maternal-child health referrals, immunization, oral rehydration, breast feeding promotion, basic curative care, and group meetings. No other family planning services are available in the areas where these centers are located. The centers are staffed by a female health visitor, who provides a range of contraceptive methods and follows up acceptors, and motivators, who provide family planning education in the community. The motivator also recruits a volunteer in each community who opens her home as a place for weekly group meetings and contraceptive distribution. APWA's strategy, however, is to introduce family planning through community development projects aimed at income generation, child care, nutritional education, and primary and adult education. Since 1987, comprehensive rural development projects have been carried out in 20 villages in all 4 provinces. Another emphasis has been the improvement of women's status through legal action. The APWA was instrumental in having an equal rights for women clause inserted in the 1972 Interim Constitution and succeeded in preventing passage of an ordinance that would have made compensation for the murder of a woman half that for the murder of a man.
CHOICES. 2001 Mar; 13-5.The South Asia Poverty Alleviation Programme (SAPAP) provides new hope to poor women in regions such as Anantpur, India. Financially supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and working in partnership with the state government and local non-government organizations, the project provides financial aid to income-generation activities. Before SAPAP, these women faced futures of perpetual debt to moneylenders for money to raise their children. Yet with SAPAP, these women shifted from wage labor to self-help or self-employment. Supplementary loans, used mainly to buy livestock, seeds, sewing machines and, occasionally, auto rickshaws, have been made to these women by the UNDP, the UN International Partnership Trust Fund, or local banks. The women contribute a weekly fee, and so far no one has defaulted on her loan. The SAPAP/UNDP program has also addressed the issue of child labor in Anantpur. Three residential schools, each with 100 students, have been set up to rehabilitate child workers.
New York, New York, UNICEF, 1994 May. 26 p. (Evaluation and Research Working Paper Series No. 1)This paper describes trends in income generation or women's productive program activities, UNICEF's experience in supporting women's productive activities, and women's and children's needs. This report was prepared as a stimulus to debate about UNICEF's role in supporting women's productive activities during the 1990s. It is emphasized that the term "women's productive activities" avoids the association of women's income generation programs with marginalized activities. "Support to women's productive activities" reflects UNICEF's growing approach to provision of direct economic tools, such as credit or skills training, and complementary services, such as child care and labor saving devices. UNICEF's models stress effective service delivery. Programs need to clarify to what extent resources will be applied to women's productive activities as a strategy of empowerment. Approaches require holistic strategies and a clarification of the objective of supporting productive activities. Three questions need to be answered. Strategies need to prioritize when the actions complement support given by other agencies, support experimental objectives, or advocate for legal and institutional change. The reproductive years are the primary years for economic production. Care must be taken not to sacrifice the daughter's future by restricting her to child care at the expense of education. There are many forces working against poor women in developing countries. UNICEF works to meet the practical needs of women. UNICEF works closely with sectors of health, education, water supply and sanitation, and basic services.
POPULI. 1995 Apr; 22(4):6-7.Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in various countries are trying to ensure that the principles laid down at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in September 1994 are not consigned to history. One such NGO is in Bangladesh is the Dhaka-based Naripokkho, whose name means on the side of women in Bengali. The ICPD Program of Action demands that population policies discard narrow demographic targets in favor of an approach that embraces reproductive health, education, gender equity and equality, and human rights. In Bangladesh the government is more responsive to NGOs, said Naripokkho's Nasreen Huq in March 1995, while attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meeting. The organization has been active on such issues as domestic violence, health, the environment, development, and the portrayal of women in the media. Naripokkho has provided gender-awareness training to staff at the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the UN Children's Fund. During the ICPD process Naripokkho and some 1250 other NGOs were admitted to government committees and delegations. After Cairo, Naripokkho became the only women's group with a seat on the government committee implementing the Cairo Program of Action. Naripokkho has criticized the lack of consultation with women's groups preceding Norplant's introduction, and the group is concerned about the long-term effects of hormonal contraceptives. The group also has asked for a study on the intergenerational effects of the injectable Depo-Provera, which has been in use in Bangladesh for some 20 years. Naripokkho has urged the government to conduct acceptability trials for diaphragms. The organization thinks diaphragms could help raise the country's contraceptive prevalence rate. Some 45% of married couples are practicing contraception. The NGO is also working on a new manual for family planning workers and their trainers.