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Fuera del Closet. 1996 Sep; (10):4-5.The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (a human being under the age of 18) declared the right of children to health and protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This was reiterated by the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights. The Declaration of the Conference on Human Rights urged the governments to step up their efforts to protect and promote the human rights of women and children. It called for the elimination of gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation. (excerpt)
[Intrafamily violence from the perspective of international conferences: the role of the United Nations] La violencia intrafamiliar desde la perspectiva de las conferencias internacionales: el papel de las Naciones Unidas.
In: Memorias del Encuentro Continental sobre Violencia Intrafamiliar, [compiled by] United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM]. Mexico City, Mexico, UNIFEM, 1996. 17-18.The interest and the efforts of the United Nations Organization with regard to the subject of violence and, in particular, intrafamiliar violence has been manifested on very different occasions. The United Nations' Decade for Women (1976-1985) significantly contributed to bring to light the problem of violence against women. Additionally, the issue was debated in 1985 in the Seventh United Nations Conference on Crime Prevention and Treatment of Delinquents. In 1985, the United Nations General Assembly invited the member States to act to prevent violence within the home and suggested measures by which the judicial system could deal with the problem in a just and humanitarian way. (excerpt)
Tanzanian Journal of Population Studies and Development. 1996; 3(1-2):1-14.In the space of two and a half decades, documentation of African rural women's work lives has moved from state of dearth to plethora. Awareness of women's arduous workday, and the importance of women agriculturists to national economies are now commonplace among African policy-makers and western donor agencies. Throughout the dramatic upheaval in African development policy of recent years, as state and market forces realign, donor agencies have consistently espoused a concern to improve the material conditions and status of rural women's working day throughout sub-Saharan Africa overwhelm donor's scattered projects directed at alleviating women's workload. The central question posed is how external donor agencies can extend beyond localized project efforts to help provide the material foundation for widespread change in women's working day of a self-determining nature. Still local in scale and last on the agenda, will measures to address women's work be elevated to a more central position in international development program efforts in sub-Saharan Africa? (author's)
[Women and reproductive rights: reflection and the fight for a new society] Mujeres y derechos reproductivos: reflexion y lucha para una nueva sociedad.
In: Cumbres, consensos y despues. Seminario Regional "Los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres en las Conferencias Mundiales". / Reuniao de cupula, consensos e depois. Seminario Regional "Os Direitos Humanos de Mulheres nas Conferencias Mundiais", edited by Roxana Vasquez Sotelo. Lima, Peru, Comite de America Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer [CLADEM], 1996 Nov. 69-111.This examination of women and reproductive rights begins by assessing competing definitions of reproductive rights and scrutinizing documents from the UN world conferences and other international instruments that affirm unquestioned and unconditional protection of reproductive rights. The existence of the documents does not guarantee respect for reproductive rights, and much remains to be done to assure their universal observance. Past population policies implemented by national governments that have violated reproductive rights are then surveyed. Contributions of the women’s movement to the political debate about reproductive rights are examined; feminist thought influenced both the study of reproductive rights and their ultimate recognition as human rights. The women’s movement has sought to claim sexuality as an integral part of affective life, to decouple it from reproduction and to construct an identity for women not exclusively based on reproduction. Against the argument that these are purely private concerns, feminists launched the slogan “the personal is political”. Reproductive rights might be defined as the power to make informed decisions regarding family size, the raising and education of children, gynecological health, and sexual activity, and the resources to put the decisions into practice safely and effectively. Issues that remain unsettled are then discussed, beginning with questions about the scope and concept of reproductive rights. Specific themes in debate are discussed, including new technologies for infertility, formation of families by homosexuals, mental health and reproductive rights, and induced abortion. The final section discusses the need for mechanisms to mediate between social arrangements and individual decisions in order to help individuals exercise their rights of all kinds.
[The human rights of women: the road crossed] Los derechos humanos de las mujeres: el camino recorrido.
In: Cumbres, consensos y despues. Seminario Regional "Los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres en las Conferencias Mundiales". / Reuniao de cupula, consensos e depois. Seminario Regional "Os Direitos Humanos de Mulheres nas Conferencias Mundiais", edited by Roxana Vasquez Sotelo. Lima, Peru, Comite de America Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer [CLADEM], 1996 Nov. 13-40.Progress is assessed in recognition of the human rights of women in the UN conferences from the 1992 Environment and Development Conference to the 1995 Conference on Women. General observations are first offered on all the conferences, including language issues (failure to provide simultaneous translations, use of gender-exclusive constructions), the prevalence of middle-class, urban, educated white women from the northern hemisphere, and the limited resources and weak mechanisms for implementing platforms and plans of action. A frequent tendency was observed to view women as a separate, often secondary “problem”, while concerns of men are seen as problems of all humanity. Two of the conferences advanced in defining inequality as the problem; it is one thing to speak of poverty or illiteracy, another to speak of poor women or illiterate women. The first style recognizes the problem as societal. The conference texts assume a human model that is male, white, adult, and western. Analysis of the contents of the various declarations begins with an examination of conceptual advances in human rights of women, such as reaffirmation that the rights and basic freedoms of women are part of universal human rights not subject to historical or cultural tradition. The meaning of equality and the practical consequences of defining it in different ways are than discussed. Other sections examine the mechanisms and resources for implementing the declarations of each of the conferences, compare international advances with national realities, and examine the coexistence of normative advances with actual retrogression. Ongoing debates concerning differences among women from developed and developing countries and universality vs. cultural relativism are described.
[Highlights, consensuses and afterwards. Regional Seminar on "The Human Rights of Women in the World Conferences"] Cumbres, consensos y despues. Seminario Regional "Los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres en las Conferencias Mundiales". Reuniao de cupula, consensos e depois. Seminario Regional "Os Direitos Humanos de Mulheres nas Conferencias Mundiais".
Lima, Peru, Comite de America Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer [CLADEM], 1996 Nov. 218, 214 p.The Second Regional Seminar of the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM) was held in Lima in April 1996 on the theme of the human rights of women in the five UN international conferences from the 1992 environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro to the 1995 Beijing conference on women. Evaluation of advances achieved in the conferences was organized around the six priority interests identified by CLADEM in 1992 as the basic themes for women in the region: citizenship, sexual and reproductive rights, violence and peace, development, ethno-racial perspectives, and the environment. The work opens with reflections on the five conferences, with examination of the place of women in the structure of each conference, whether gender inclusive language was used, conceptual advances in the human rights of women, limitations of the paradigm of equality, mechanisms and resources for implementation of the various Declarations, international achievements and national realities, north-south differences, universality and cultural relativity, and challenges for the next millennium. Six presentations follow on citizenship of women as a challenge for the democracies of the region, sexual and reproductive rights, the struggle against gender violence and advances in international instruments, ethno-racial perspectives, gender and the economic rights of women, and women and the environment. Each presentation assessed progress over the course of the five international conferences, and each includes commentaries from two representatives of organizations in the region whose activities were related to the theme. The final section identifies points that should be considered and possible strategies in each of the six areas.
[Project on the promotion of girls' schooling in a rural environment. Exploratory and regulatory evaluation. Preliminary version] Projet relatif a la promotion de la scolarisation de la fille en milieu rural. Evaluation exploratoire-regulatrice. Version preliminaire.
[Rabat], Morocco, Ministere de l'Education Nationale, 1996 Jun. 92,  p.A project to promote the formal education of rural girls was implemented during 1992-96 as part of a cooperative program between the government of Morocco and UNICEF. Destined to extend into 1998, the project aims to increase the net rates of school attendance among rural girls to 50%, 65%, and 80% in 1994, 1995, and 1996, respectively; to keep 80% of rural girls enrolled in school at least throughout the first cycle of basic education; and to promote literacy, especially among young girls and women. To achieve these goals, the project was developed around the 4 following axes: social mobilization to support the formal education of girls in rural areas, improving the supply of and demand for such education, teacher training, and community involvement in developing education programs for rural girls. Results are presented from the evaluation of a sample of 10 of the 17 provinces involved in the project. Results are presented upon the characteristics of surveyed populations, obstacles to educating girls in rural areas, social mobilization, improving the demand for and supply of formal education, teaching training, community involvement, and priority actions to promote the education of girls in rural areas. Recommendations are made before the final section of annexes of reference terms, tables of measures taken, data collection tools, and indicators of enrollment rates in the surveyed provinces.
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 1996 Aug.  p.This paper provides a chronology on the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) being tackled by the UN and its agencies since the early 1950s. In 1952, the UN Commission on Human Rights raised the issue of FGM for the first time. In 1980, the World Conference of the UN Decade for Women, in Copenhagen, appealed to African governments and Women's Organizations to seek solutions to the problem of female circumcision and infibulation. The WHO in 1982 made a formal statement of its position regarding FGM to the UN Human Rights Commission. In addition, it expressed unequivocal opposition to the medicalization of the practice in any setting, readiness to support national efforts aimed at eliminating the practice, and strongly advises health workers not to perform female circumcision under any conditions. Moreover, in 1995, the Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen refers to FGM, reinforcing the International Conference on Population and Development recommendations. The Platform of Action of the World Conference on Women in Beijing includes a section on the girl child and urged governments, international organizations and nongovernmental groups to develop policies and programs to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the girl child including FGM.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1996 Aug. 3 p. (Fact Sheet No. 128)The WHO Global Commission on Women's Health, a high level advocacy body which promotes women health issues nationally and internationally, focused on the issue of violence against women at its meeting in 1996. Violence against women has become widely recognized as a major issue of women's human rights; however, there has also been growing awareness of the impact of violence on women's mental and physical health. Studies have shown that the most pervasive form of gender violence is violence against women by their intimate male partners or ex-partners, including the physical, mental and sexual abuse of women and children and adolescents. Approximately 40 population-based quantitative studies conducted in 24 countries revealed a range of 20-50% of women being victims of physical abuse by their partners; 50-60% of them were raped as well. Victims of violence are likely to develop behaviors that are self-injurious, such as substance abuse and smoking.
WOMEN'S HEALTH JOURNAL. 1996; (3):49-52.This article discusses the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This convention is the only instrument protecting the human rights of women at the international level. However, even if the convention was the best possible women's human rights documentation, there was no mechanism for reporting the abuses. The women's movement has long been pressing for the approval of the mechanism like the Optional Protocol, because they believe that the Protocol would fulfill the need in allowing the individual and collective accusations of human rights abuses. It means that a woman or a group of women can go to the committee and denounce an action as discriminatory. The committee can only receive reports and make recommendations, whereas having a Protocol would allow the committee to direct complaints, be able to investigate them, and make more specific recommendations. Those countries ratifying the CEDAW don't automatically agree to the Protocol, thus it is the country's discretion to either comply with the Protocol or not. There are also those who are against the Protocol and claim ironically that an Optional Protocol for Political and Civil rights already exists. But such mechanisms do not work for women's rights. What is most needed now is to lobby all national delegations to push the 5th Commission of the United Nations' General Assembly to approve the budget for the protocol.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1996. iv, 218 p. (A/CONF.177/20/Rev.1)The report of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995 contains materials on conference preparations, agenda, and proceedings. The report's first chapter presents the full texts of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The Platform includes a mission statement, sections describing the global framework and critical areas of concern, 12 strategic objectives and accompanying lists of actions to be taken by specified agencies, and descriptions of institutional and financial arrangements. The strategic objectives concern women and poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, the economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for advancement of women; human rights, the media, the environment, and the girl child. Chapter 2 provides information on pre-conference consultations, attendance, conference opening and election of officers, adoption of rules of procedure and agenda, and organization of work. Chapter 3 lists statements of conference participants and the sessions at which they occurred. The report of the main committee regarding organization of work and consideration of the draft platform for action and declaration is presented in chapter 4. Chapter 5 describes adoption of the Declaration and Platform for Action and presents the statements of reservation and interpretation made by several countries. The final three chapters concern the report of the credentials committee, adoption of the conference report, and closure.
Advancement of women: Argentina, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Marshall Islands, Philippines and Portugal: draft resolution. Violence against women migrant workers.
[Unpublished] 1996 Nov 5. 4 p. (A/C.3/51/L.17)This UN resolution opens by recalling previous resolutions about violence against women migrant workers, the conclusions of world conferences, and the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights that all emphasize the importance of protecting the human rights of vulnerable groups. The resolution also notes that large numbers of women cross international borders seeking work and that both sending and receiving states benefit from this activity. The resolution expresses concern about continued acts of violence taken by employers against women migrant workers and notes that some receiving states have taken measures to alleviate the plight of these women. The resolution acknowledges the report of the Secretary-General on violence against women migrant workers and a 1996 expert meeting held in the Philippines. In accord with the UN's determination to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, the resolution encourages Member States to enact protective legislation; periodically review the implementation of this legislation to ensure its effectiveness; consider adopting legislative sanctions against intermediaries who exploit women migrant workers; conduct regular consultations to identify problems; and sign, ratify, or accede to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the 1926 Slavery Convention. The resolution also recommends ways the UN community can address this problem.
Action Programme 1997-1999. Resolutions and recommendations adopted at the IAW XXX Congress, Calcutta, India, December 1996. Declaration of principle. Programme d'Action 1997-1999 base sur les resolutions et les recommandations adoptees au 30eme Congres Triennal de l'AIF de Calcutta, en Indes, en Decembre 1996. Declaration de principe.
[Unpublished] 1996.  p.This document, which presents the priority action program for 1997-99 of the International Alliance of Women (IAW), opens by affirming the principle that women's rights are human rights and that human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent, and interrelated. The document also calls on all affiliate and associate organizations to monitor fulfillment of the commitment of 189 UN-member states to implementation of the Platform for Action of the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women. Specific priority actions are then described in five areas. First, governments and IAW member organizations are urged to promote the maximum participation of women in political life by supporting women's civil and political rights. Second, governments and the mass media are asked to eradicate illiteracy among women (and promote legal literacy) and overcome the prejudice that bars girls' access to schools. Third, the document notes that poverty disproportionately affects women and requests governments, communities, and member organizations to take specific steps to help women overcome poverty. Next, the document calls for establishment of an International Convention on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children and identifies steps that should be taken to eradicate trafficking in women and children, domestic violence, and violence in general. Finally, the document calls on governments to protect women's health by taking specific actions, such as implementing reproductive rights, promoting healthy nutrition, and eradicating substance abuse.
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to hold fifth session in Vienna, 21-31 May. Press release.
[New York, New York], United Nations Information Service, 1996 May 21.  p. (Press Release SOC/CP/180)The UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice held its fifth session in Vienna in May 1996. This press release about the session begins by reviewing the history of the UN crime prevention and criminal justice program since its inception in 1985. Then the document describes the Commission's response to the problems posed by organized transnational crime, the corruption of public officials, money laundering, links of terrorists to organized crime, the role of criminal law in protecting the environment, urban policy and crime prevention, violence against women, and firearms regulation. The release also describes efforts to strengthen the international response to crime, reform criminal justice systems; and improve crime prevention cooperation and coordination. Finally, the release notes that the Commission will consider a number of proposals that will be addressed by the Tenth UN Crime Congress in the year 2000.
ROSHNI. 1996 Jan-Jun; 1-3.This article summarizes the recommendations of the All India Women's Conference and the UN Information Center's Regional Seminar on Human Settlement which was held in 1996. The conference was attended by about 100 persons and 20 speakers. The main topics were megacities and infrastructure deficits; governance, poverty, and employment; and the role of women and nongovernmental organizations in human settlements. The article identifies 24 recommendations on community participation by women: the availability of drinking water and sanitation, access to schools and health care, provision of sanitary facilities, training programs for women in basic health care and hygiene, toilet facilities in slums and rural areas, housing provision for the poor, income generation programs for women, shelter to the homeless, available housing, equity in political representation and elections, sustainable development, rural development, resettlement of slum dwellers, improvements in quality of life, female ownership of housing, networking, and integrated approaches to the concept of habitat, among others. This regional conference followed up the Global Habitat II Conference. Provision of housing and shelters to millions worldwide will require creative programs, adequate financial support, and dedication to the ideals of Habitat II.
User-friendly guide to health issues in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Fourth World Conference on Women, 4-15 September 1995).
[Geneva, Switzerland], World Health Organization [WHO], 1996. , 42 p.This guide was developed to bring together a systematic overview of issues on the health of girls and women as presented in the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women. The guide tries to highlight the most important areas for action for the health care sector, providing references to all relevant paragraphs in the original Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It is aimed mainly at international and intergovernmental organizations working together with nongovernmental organizations. Important areas of concern include women's right to health, reproductive and sexual health, violence against women, childhood and adolescence, female genital mutilation, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, other health problems affecting women, poverty and nutrition, workplace and environmental hazards, and women and armed conflict.
EARTH TIMES. 1996 Jun 13; 1, 10.Various concepts of the family, reproductive health, and women's empowerment, issues thought settled at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Beijing Conference, were again debated in Istanbul. The family was recognized at the ICPD as the basic unit of society, albeit with its varying forms around the world. Beijing reaffirmed the definition after some discussion. However, during the Habitat II preparatory process, an attempt was made to focus upon the concept of the family as the basic societal unit and to place the reference to its various forms elsewhere. While paragraph 18 of the Habitat Agenda which deals with the issue was largely cleared at the third preparatory meeting, the language on various forms of the family remains in brackets, to be negotiated in Istanbul. References to reproductive health are in brackets in paragraphs 87 and 96. Debate over the definition of gender in Beijing and during the Habitat process was finally settled in favor of the existing UN understanding of the meaning of the word. Other controversies on gender issues remain to be settled.
EARTH TIMES / HURRIYET. 1996 June 12; 13.UNICEF Senior Urban Advisor, Ximena de la Barra, spoke at the conference, "Women and Children in Urban Poverty - What Way Out?," on the need to fight the social and economic circumstances which are conducive to poor health. She also discussed how the promotion of productivity, rather than well-being, often results in the exploitation of the poor, including children. Economic growth within the framework of the current development model is failing to reduce poverty. Rather, society has simply become more polarized. It is inexcusable that half of child mortality in Southeast Asia is due to malnutrition, especially when the US and some European countries block other countries from producing food which could otherwise be consumed abroad by people in need. Countries need to invest in their women and children. Field Director for PLAN International and the President of Dunn Nutrition Group also spoke at the UNICEF workshop.
In: A woman's world: beyond the headlines, edited by Mary Van Lieshout. Oxford, England, Oxfam, 1996. 119-28.This document, the 11th chapter in a book that conceptualizes a woman's world by focusing on women's daily battle for basic rights as well as their challenge to global poverty and violence, describes Oxfam interventions in Afghanistan, where the ongoing conflict has created a "semipermanent emergency." The introduction outlines the setting and the source of the current instability in Afghanistan as well as Oxfam's work in Afghanistan since 1989. The next section describes the situation encountered by the people living in Kabul and the specific effects of the conflict and degrees of poverty suffered by the most vulnerable groups (widows and their families, disabled people and their families, elderly people living alone, and urban nomads). In the next section, the chapter looks at the restrictions faced by women and the results of an informal exercise carried out by Oxfam that examined the lives of women in the area of the city that had been most affected by the conflict. Anecdotal information gathered for this exercise from more than 800 women during October and November of 1995 shed light on the difficulty women were having in securing an income, the measures taken to assure survival, the contribution of children, and difficulties in securing adequate shelter. The chapter ends with a consideration of the difficulties faced by international agencies that are working in Kabul and are attempting to meet large-scale needs without a bilateral aid regime and in the absence of any long-term UN development program.
In: Background papers, Human Development Report 1995, [compiled by] United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]. New York, New York, UNDP, 1996. 89-104.The introduction of this background paper for the UN's 1995 Human Development Report, which examines the analytical and political visibility of the work of social reproduction, notes that social reproduction currently occupies a blank space in current economic analyses that lack a macro-framework capable of revealing the role of social reproduction of people as well as the gender and class conflicts that exist in the capitalist relationship between profit production and social reproduction. The first section of the paper discusses the difficulty of integrating domestic work into economic analysis in a way that acknowledges the differences between the production of commodities and the reproduction of the species. Section 2 places the sector and process of reproduction in the more systematic analytical location through use of the perspective of livelihood economies. The third section offers a classical surplus approach as a means of visualizing the conflicts inherent in the capitalist production-reproduction relationship, and this approach is used in the fourth section to locate domestic work in a macro economic analysis. Section 5 presents the present structuring of the global labor markets as the context in which reproduction and paid/unpaid labor must be analyzed, and section 6 assesses the gender policies of the World Bank to determine their capacity for challenging mainstream theories. The final section argues for a strategic policy of reversing the direction of the production-reproduction relationship by making production and markets responsible and accountable institutions that contribute to human welfare.
EARTH TIMES. 1996 Jun 13; 6.One of the most familiar figures at many UN conferences and international meets which have anything to do with family planning is that of bustling, sari-clad Sunetra Puri, Director of Public Affairs of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Operating in 150 countries, the IPPF's main objective is to take the cause of reproductive health to all, especially the marginalized groups, including the poor in the rural and urban areas, explains Puri, who has been with the organization for over 20 years. She says that IPPF's role has been changing over the years. "Till fairly recently, we mainly concentrated on educating and proving family-planning methods to clients. But after the conferences in Cairo and Beijing on Population and on Women, we have begun to take up controversial issues like violence against women and female genital mutilation." Building partnerships at various levels and pushing for legislative change, such as the need for sex education, are some of the other goals of IPPF, adds Puri. She has also prepared an "advocacy guide," in which arguments to counter groups such as the anti-choice lobby are presented. Turning to the ever-present problem of funding, she admits that though the goodwill is very much there, "there is not so much money for international NGOs in the reproductive health field." But of one thing you can be sure: as long as Sunetra Puri is around, the IPPF will not be lacking in advocacy skills. (full text)
EARTH TIMES / HURRIYET. 1996 Jun 7; 5.The head of the UN Development Fund for Women's delegation at Habitat II, Achola Pala Okeyo, held a press conference to voice her concern that the women's nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) attending the conference were not receiving enough visibility. Issues raised at the press conference included the important role played by the NGOs in taking the Habitat agenda to the grassroots level, the promotion of cooperative ownership of houses and equal inheritance rights, and the lack of input sought from "everyday" women in planning and development efforts in their communities. Okeyo noted that the Habitat conference was the first organized attempt to bring women's NGOs together since the women's conference in Beijing and that women were disappointed at their lack of progress in attaining equal rights.
EARTH TIMES. 1996 Jun 10; 1, 7.Women's nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have worked hard to successfully advance women's concerns in Habitat II's Global Plan of Action because women must have safe, secure settlements in order to achieve social and economic advances. The NGOs considered it vital that the Plan of Action call for greater reinvestment of businesses in communities, reduction of the negative impact of structural adjustment programs, opportunities for women to receive small loans with flexible collateral, and prevention of the sexual and economic exploitation of women. The most important consideration for some advocates is how implementation of the Plan of Action will be funded. Women still have not achieved the right to equal inheritance, and the Plan of Action calls for an equal right to inheritance for women but not the right to inherit equal amounts as men. The women attending Habitat are also seeking recognition of the facts that women and men use cities differently and that the needs of women are often overlooked. Advocates believe it is vitally important to help women articulate what changes they desire.
Highlights from the Third Annual Inter-Agency Working Group on FGM Meeting, Cairo, Egypt, November, 1996.
[Unpublished] 1996. 13 p.In November 1996, more than 34 representatives from 20 organizations attended the Third Annual Inter-Agency Working Group meeting on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Cairo, Egypt. After opening remarks by the Chairperson of the Task Force on FGM in Egypt and the Egyptian Under Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population, other discussions placed FGM in the larger context of women's human rights, reviewed the background of the Global Action Against FGM Project and the goals of the Inter-Agency Working Group, and provided an overview of the activities of RAINBO (Research, Action, and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women). A report was then given of a research workshop organized by RAINBO and the Egyptian Task Force on FGM immediately prior to the Working Group meeting. It was noted that data from the recent Demographic and Health Survey revealed an FGM prevalence rate of 97% in Egypt, and areas requiring more research were highlighted. Discussion following this presentation included mention of qualitative methods used in a recent study in Sierra Leone and recent research in the Sudan that led to recommended intervention strategies. During the second day of the Working Group meeting, participants provided a preview of the work of the Egyptian Task Force Against FGM; a description of RAINBO's effort to develop training of trainers reproductive health and FGM materials; and summaries of the work of nongovernmental organizations, private foundations, UN agencies, and bilateral donors. This meeting report ends with a list of participants.
CORNELL INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. 1996; 29(1):1-41.This paper analyzes how the dynamics of population policy affect human rights and pays particular attention to the role of law in protecting women's rights during the formulation and implementation of population policy. The paper shows that, at both the international and national levels, the law has been ineffective in protecting women's reproductive rights because of society's marginalization or complete disregard of women's reproductive interests arising from the patriarchal constructs that shape the law and value women solely for their capacity to bear children. After an introduction, the first part of the paper explores the relationship between population theory and human rights through a look at the bases of population theory and the tension between its utilitarian premises and human rights principles. The second part examines how international reproductive rights developed and the application of these rights to women. Part 3 considers the international articulation of women's rights and the conflict between universal application of women's rights and cultural relativism. Part 4 looks at the relationship between population planning policies and human rights, and the final part applies these considerations to population policies affecting women. It is concluded that the human rights principles that serve as the basis for enforcement of reproductive self-determination should be strengthened by the specific incorporation of reproductive self-determination into international treaties. Laws must also be used to educate and stimulate social change to create a context in which the rights protected by the law can be realized. Only then will women achieve the reproductive self-determination that will serve as the legal norm to challenge perceptions of "women as womb."