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  1. 1

    Protection of working mothers: an ILO global survey (1964-84).

    International Labour Office [ILO]

    Women At Work. 1984; (2):1-71.

    This document describes the current status of maternity protection legislation in developed and developing countries and is based primarily on the findings of the International Labor Organization's (ILO's) global assessment of laws and regulations concerning working women before and after pregnancy. The global survey collected information from 18 Asian and Pacific countries, 36 African nations, 28 North and South American countries, 14 Middle Eastern countries, 19 European market economy countries, and 11 European socialist countries. Articles in 2 ILO conventions provide standards for maternity protection. According to the operative clauses of these conventions working women are entitled to 1) 12 weeks of maternity leave, 2) cash benefits during maternity leaves, 3) nursing breaks during the work day, and 4) protection against dismissal during maternity. Most countries have some qualifying conditions for granting maternity leaves. These conditions either state that a worker must be employed for a certain period of time or contributed to an insurance plan over a defined period of time before a maternity leave will be granted. About 1/2 of the countries in the Asia and Pacific region, the Americas, Africa, and in the Europe market economy group provide maternity leaves of 12 or more weeks. In all European socialist countries, women are entitled to at least 12 weeks maternity leave and in many leaves are considerably longer than 12 months. In the Middle East all but 3 countries provide leaves of less than 12 weeks. Most countries which provide maternity leaves also provide cash benefits, which are usually equivalent to 50%-100% of the worker's wages, and job protection during maternity leaves. Some countries extend job protection beyond the maternity leave. For example, in Czechoslovakia women receive job protection during pregnancy and for 3 years following the birth, if the woman is caring for the child. Nursing breaks are allowed in 5 of the Asian and Pacific countries, 30 of African countries, 18 of the countries in the Americas, 9 of the Middle East countries, 16 of European market economy countries, and in all of the European socialist countries. Several new trends in maternity protection were observed in the survey. A number of countries grant child rearing leaves following maternity leaves. In some countries these leaves can be granted to either the husband or the wife. Some countries have regulations which allow parents to work part time while rearing their children and some permit parents to take time off to care for sick children. In most of the countries, the maternity protection laws and regulations are applied to government workers and in many countries they are also applied to workers in the industrial sector. A list of the countries which have ratified the articles in the ILO convenants concerning maternity benefits is included.
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  2. 2

    Female employment and fertility in developing countries

    Brazzell JF

    In: Quantitative approaches to analyzing socioeconomic determinants of Third World fertility trends: reviews of the literature. Project final report: overview, by Indiana University Fertility Determinants Group, George J. Stolnitz, director. [Unpublished] 1984. 79-91.

    Simple no-work/work distinctions are an unreliable basis for estimating causal linkages connecting female employment/work-status patterns to fertility. World Fertility Survey (WFS) data show about 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 child differentials for over 20, 10-19, and under 10 years marital duration grouss respectively, for women employed since marriage. Effects on marriage seem strongest in Latin America and weakest in Asia. Controlling for age, marital duration, urban-rural residence, education, and husband's work status. But from the results of a number of WFS and other studies, it seems relationships of work status and fertility are difficult to confirm beyond directional indications, even in Latin America. A UN study using proximate determinants such as contraception and work status including a housework category indicated differentials in contraceptive practice were not significant net of control for education. Philippine data indicates low-income employment might increase fertility by decreasing breastfeeding, while WFS data from 5 Asian countries indicated pre-marital work encourages increased marriage age, without being specific about effects. Also, female employment must affect a large population to have a real impact on aggregate fertility, since female labor force activity is likely to change slowly if at all. Data presently available do not cover micro-level factors that may be important, such as effects of work on breastfeeding, nor do they lend themselves to examination by multi-equation analysis. More work is needed to isolate effects of work-status attributes like male employment, and to analyze intra-cohort mid-course fertility objective changes, as well as new theoretical process models such as competing time use and maternal role incompatibility.
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  3. 3

    Women in health and development: the view from the Americas.

    Who Chronicle. 1984; 38(6):249-55.

    This article highlights the central features of the 5-Year Regional Plan of Action on Women in Health and Development, adopted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 1981. Although the Plan does not mandate specific actions, it encourages certain activities and establishes an annual reporting system concerning these activities. The Plan recognizes that women's health depends upon numerous factors outside of medicine, including women's employment, education, social status, and accepted roles, access to economic resources, and political power. The low status of women is reinforced by the sexual double standard that makes women responsible for the reproductive process yet denies them the right to control that process. The Plan advocates an incremental approach, in which projects 1st focus on priority areas and groups and then expand to provide more general benefits. Programs exclusively for women are not advocated; encouraged, instead, is the integration of women's health and development activities into the mainstream of general activities promoting health. Among the areas targeted for action are the collection of statistics on women's health, women's nutritional problems, environmental health, maternal-child health services, screening for breast and cervical cancer, and family planning . Community participation is proposed as a good vehicle for local action and an essential tool in the campaign for health for all. Efforts must be made to enlist women's support in identifying community needs, planning health actions, selecting appropriate resources and personnel, establishing and administering health services, and evaluating the results. Overall, the Plan provides a solid basis upon which health authorities of the Americas can build.
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