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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.
CHOICES. 2001 Mar; 24-5.The UN Development Programme (UNDP) develops partnerships with governments, international agencies, and nongovernmental organizations to promote technical cooperation in developing countries. A group of entrepreneurs and food technologists from 16 African countries visited India and Sri Lanka on a "Learning Partnerships" study tour in June 1998, sponsored by the government of Japan and organized by UNDP and the UN Economic Commission for Africa in collaboration with the Asian Centre for Entrepreneurial Initiative. The goal was to bring together a group of African and Asian women and men to develop partnerships in food processing techniques and export promotion. Last September, a few from the Asian tour were in Chicago to initiate business partnerships with women in the US. Organized by the Washington-based Center for Private Enterprise, the African and American participants formed the African and American Business Women Alliance. The idea is to increase intra-regional trade within Africa by encouraging business partnerships and cross-investment within the continent.
[Nairobi], Kenya, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health [PATH], 2000 Mar. 31 p.In Kenya, the Demographic Health Survey estimates that 38% of women aged 15-49 years have undergone one form of female genital mutilation (FGM) or another. Despite an intense post-colonial debate, the newly independent Kenya has not established specific laws or programs against FGM. In response, the Maendelo Ya Wanawake Organization, a national women's organization committed to improving the health and well-being of Kenyan women, was established with the support of Program for Appropriate Technology in Health. The organization has implemented a 2-year pilot project aimed to raise awareness about the harmful effects of FGM; promote a positive image of uncircumcised girls; and develop an alternative rite of passage for girls to replace initiation by cutting. Among its activities include garnering community support; training staff and community volunteers; and raising public awareness to effect and enable behavior change. Moreover, the project has incorporated strategies such as modification of education programs and working with communities to develop alternative rites of passage. Overall, the project has been successful where it is attributed to the support from the local women's and international organizations, and project donors who continually support the pilot project leading to behavior change.
In: Progress of the world's women 2000: UNIFEM biennial report, [compiled by] United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM]. New York, New York, UNIFEM, 2000. 15-36.This document, which is the first chapter of a UN publication entitled “Progress of the World’s Women 2000,” examines the economic dimension of women’s ability to realize themselves as full human beings. In that context, it argues for the expansion of the current definition of human development, which is defined as a process of enlarging people’s choices, to include women’s empowerment, or specifically, giving women the courage to choose. Overall, the document aims to contribute to the global dialog that is sparked by commitments made to women in human rights treaties, UN conferences and grounded in women's organizations' own efforts to humanize the world. To that end, it is noted that women have to defend their right to paid work in the private, public and nongovernmental sectors in the face of familial and community opposition, and, increasingly, in the face of pressures from globalization. In addition, they have to defend their right to more equal ways of sharing and supporting unpaid care work in the home. However, the document also acknowledges that women face constraints not of their own making or choosing, and that many countries can be weakened by social choices, collectively made, and not through individual choices alone.
In: AAWORD / AFARD 5th General Assembly (19-24 July 1999). "Visions of Gender Theories and Social Development in Africa: Harnessing Knowledge for Social Justice and Equality, [compiled by] Association of African Women for Research and Development [AAWORD]. Dakar, Senegal, AAWORD, 2001. 47-72. (AAWORD Book Series)This paper illustrates the negative impact of debt repayment in Tanzania, which, though it is one of the world’s poorest countries, has one of the highest debt repayment loads in the developing world. Debt repayment takes about 35-39% of government expenditure, a percentage four times higher than that spent on basic education and nine times more than spent on primary health care. As a result, socioeconomic indicators such as life expectancy and child mortality are very poor in Tanzania, with women and girls as the primary victims. In response, the grassroots, national, and international levels have to work together to address debt in the country. A gender-sensitive approach would be able to supervise economic relations in order to respect human rights. What’s more, these ideas reflect the concerns of women, who are often assumed to be silent and unconcerned.
Journal of North African Studies. 2008 Mar; 13(1):55-73.This paper examines the current efforts being made in Morocco in the field of women's education and evaluates the success of the Moroccan Development Model in the field of women's education by examining the topic through three lenses: international aid agencies, Moroccan government and royal efforts and the Moroccan Women's Movement. Consideration of the historical, religious and economic frameworks for each actor maintains priority within the study as a means of evaluating the progress made to date, the current status of women's education and the long-term goals and timeframes. The findings within this paper are primarily based on UN statistics, ratings, and definitions as well as other reputable sources such as the World Bank. Sources used include magazine articles, websites, academic journals and papers, and sociological, political and anthropological books on Morocco and women. It must be noted that this evaluation focuses on Anglophone and Francophone sources only and does not consider Arabophone sources. (author's)
International assistance to women's organizations. [Ayuda internacional a las organizaciones femeninas]
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 205-214.Several factors have led the international donor community to support women's organizations both during and after conflict. One obvious factor is that because of lack of resources, shortage of skilled personnel, and general decline in the morale of the staff, public bureaucracies become extremely fragile in war-torn societies. They are often unable to provide urgently needed social services to the suffering populace. Therefore, the international community tends to develop partnerships with voluntary organizations, including women's organizations, to provide essential assistance to the needy people. There are two additional reasons for the international donor community to support women's organizations. First, by virtue of their leadership and commitment, these organizations are better able to reach women than are male-dominated or mixed civil-society organizations. Their staff members can easily empathize with the intended women beneficiaries, who in turn feel more at ease in sharing their problems with them. Second, the international community also sees in women's organizations potential for empowering women. In addition to channeling assistance, they contribute to the social and psychological empowerment of women by teaching self-reliance and leadership skills. (excerpt)
Women's organizations in El Salvador: history, accomplishments, and international support. [Organizaciones femeninas en El Salvador: historia, logros y apoyo internacional]
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 183-203.Women's organizations in El Salvador have undergone a unique evolution, first in relation to the conditions of war that permeated El Salvador from 1980 to 1992 and then in response to economic restructuring and the challenges of democratization following the war. The conditions of El Salvador's civil war, along with the fact that many women's organizations became stronger during the war, have resulted in a unique set of organizations that are marked by their autonomy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Early-conflict women's organizations (1980 to 1985) were characterized by their attachment to a wide range of popular grass-roots organizations and attempts to incorporate women into these groups. Many of these organizations mobilized women around economic issues, survival in the war, and human rights. A few formed in this period began to work with battered women and to question women's legal, political, and domestic subordination. Few, however, were willing to embrace the concept of feminism. Late-conflict and post-conflict women's organizations (1986 to 2001) are characterized by women challenging gender hierarchies within mixed grass-roots organizations and putting forth a gendered discourse on specific women's rights, ranging from violence against women to inequities in the labor force. Feminism also became more prevalent during this time. In this chapter we look at the particular changes found in women's organizations and link them to specific historical, social, and economic circumstances. We then evaluate what the impact of women's organizations has been in terms of empowering Salvadoran women and make recommendations for international donor organizations so that they can better serve Salvadoran women's organizations. (excerpt)
In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 165-181.This chapter examines women's organizations in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. It describes their emergence, activities, and programs and the changes in their activities over time. It then assesses the impact of these organizations in addressing gender issues associated with the conflict. Finally, it discusses the nature of assistance provided to them by the international community and the areas of tension between them. The chapter is based largely on the information obtained during interviews conducted by the author with the leaders and staff of women's organizations, staffs of international organizations, representatives of the donor agencies that support women's organizations, and a cross section of Bosnian women. Five organizations were selected as case studies to illustrate different activities and the types of development and expansion that have taken place in the past few years. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2002 Dec. 50 p. (Afghanistan Vol. 14, No. 11)Recommendations sections immediately following and toward the end of the report set out in more detail how the process of promoting human rights, including rights for women and girls, can be put back on track. This report is based on more than 120 interviews conducted in Herat city and Kabul between September and November 2002. Names and identifying details of many of those interviewed cannot be printed here because of concerns for their security. After Human Rights Watch visited Herat in September 2002, Ismail Khan ordered his security forces to identify and interrogate people who spoke with us. We have also received reports that Ismail Khan’s forces have threatened women whom they believe spoke with us—an indication of the level of intimidation and repression in western Afghanistan. (excerpt)
Child support as a strategic interest: la Asociación de Madres Demandantes of El Salvador. [La cuota alimenticia como interés estratégico: Asociación de Madres Demandantes de El Salvador]
Gender and Development. 2003 Jul; 11(2):60-69.Among certain social sectors in El Salvador, couples have not necessarily engaged informal marriages. But with the economic and political crisis of the 1980s, many poor Salvador women were left with the sole financial responsibility for their children. With the 'modernisation' of the state in the post-war period, more of those women began to seek the assistance of the state in securing child support. This paper looks at the process that women had to go through to access that support and explores how Mujeres pot La Dignidad y La Vida (Women for Dignity and Life), afeminist organisation created out of the Salvadoran civil war, mobilised women to challenge institutionalised gender roles reflected in that process. The conflicts that arose within the new organisation they formed, the Asociacion de Madres Demandantes (Association of Mothers Seeking Child Support), highlight thedifferent interests of the women being organised and those organising them. These conflicts were intensified by the policies of donor organisations that supported the work of the Association. (author's)
Women's Health Journal. 2003 Apr-Jun; (2):13-15.I feel that such opportunities are very important because in general the women's health movement has not been very involved in the analysis of neoliberal reforms in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, it is interesting to note that in the 1980s and 90s the women's movement -unlike the movement in defense of health- addressed the issue of health from a rights-based perspective, even though this term was not yet used. Those of us who were involved in the movement to defend health talked about how to apply the reform, how to improve it, but the issue of health as a right was not in our discourse. Based on this experience, it is important that organized women become involved in the analysis of the reform, At one point, the international agencies called together those of us specializing in gender and other key representatives of the women's movement to contribute a gender perspective to the neoliberal reforms. In hindsight, it is clear that we weren't on the same page: a perspective based on rights as the guiding principle for analyzing health was attempting to interface with an approach to health that has absolutely nothing to do with rights. In order to overcome this impasse, the women's movement needs to strengthen its alliances with other sectors critical of the neoliberal reforms and learn more about other non-neoliberal proposals for health sector reform such as that implemented in Brazil, for example. Of course, we must not forget Cuba's reform which was developed in the context of a revolutionary process. (excerpt)
LINKS. 1997 Jun; 1-2.Under the Taliban, which took control of Kabul in Afghanistan in October 1996, Shari's law has been interpreted strictly; women cannot work outside the home, cannot be educated, and must wear the burkha. Professional and educated women have moved to Pakistan. According to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 1995 figures, the literacy rate among women is 15%; among men it is 45%. This will only worsen if the education of girls is banned. International nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) report that interpretation of the law varies with district; girls under 10 years of age can attend school in some areas, and some Taliban commanders are more liberal than others. The 30,000 households headed by women will fall into poverty if the women cannot work and have no other means of support. Women's relationships outside the home will be determined entirely by men. Gender roles will change because men will now have to take over jobs women formerly performed outside the home: taking children to clinics, shopping, and collecting water. Women's support groups will collapse because visiting will be difficult and hospitality will be too expensive. International agencies have distributed food and provided work to women in their homes; men are used to communicate with the women. This has been done at risk. Oxfam UK/I, which cannot deliver quality humanitarian aid without working with both women and men, will attempt, through a witnessing and influencing strategy, to persuade the Taliban to become more moderate.
LINKS. 1998 Jul; 3.In May 1997, Oxfam initiated an effort to help partner organizations in Bangladesh integrate gender issues into their management structures and programs. Oxfam's strategy involved inviting all 20 of its partners to send two women in management or staff positions to create a forum on gender. Oxfam kept the agenda open and included recreational activities. Within the first 24 hours, the group had produced an action plan and asked Oxfam to facilitate continuation of the forum. At first the women wanted Oxfam representatives to meet with their directors to discuss problems; after two meetings, the women only wanted Oxfam to witness the discussions and deflect objections about donor intent. Priority issues were maternity leave, equity with men in receiving resources for communication and transportation, and sexual harassment that occurred when directors extended the household roles of the women into the workplace. Lessons learned from this strategy are that 1) there is no quick fix, but this intervention is relatively inexpensive; 2) long-term support is needed; 3) involving middle managers is a concrete way to place gender issues on the agendas of partner organizations; and 4) a gender policy is important, but an action plan is even more important.
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.
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.
Bethesda, Maryland, Sisterhood is Global Institute, 1996. , xiv, 168 p.This manual presents a multidimensional framework that allows grassroots Muslim women from various backgrounds to examine the relationship between their basic human rights as inscribed in major international documents and their culture. The introduction contains the manual's objective and background, the major international sources of women's rights, the major premises upon which the manual is based, the theoretical framework of the communication model (involving a communicator, an audience, a medium, and a message), the general structure of the model, and a note to facilitators. The next section presents the learning exercises that can be used by facilitators and participants to discuss women's rights 1) within the family; 2) to autonomy in family planning decisions; 3) to bodily integrity; 4) to subsistence; 5) to education and learning; 6) to employment and fair compensation; 7) to privacy, religious beliefs, and free expression; 8) during times of conflict; and 9) to political participation. Section 3 contains a workshop and facilitator evaluation form. Appendices contain auxiliary material such as relevant religious passages, descriptions of the first heroines of Islam, samples of Arabic proverbs concerning women, the text of international human rights instruments, and a list of various human rights and women's organizations in selected Muslim societies. The manual ends with an annotated bibliography.
Panel session: the future agenda of the women's movement in relation to national and international structures.
In: Women's rights and development: vision and strategy for the twenty-first century. A seminar organised by One World Action, Oxfam UK/I, the Gender Institute of the London School of Economics, and Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, held at Wolfson College, Oxford, May 24, 1995. Report, compiled by Mandy Macdonald. Oxford, England, Oxfam, 1995. 35-9. (Oxfam Working Paper)This paper reports on a panel discussion that considered the future agenda of the international women's and "gender and development" movements as part of a 1995 seminar on women's rights and development. First, a member of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex pointed out male biases operating at IDS and provided examples of the narrow, compartmentalized vision that dominates considerations of development and gender. The next speaker, a member of Development Alternative with Women for a New Era, 1) proposed a political agenda for the international women's movement; 2) called for the reversal of South-North hierarchies and for a new slogan, "think locally, act globally"; and 3) related the women's movement to national and international structures. The third speaker, from the Development Studies Institute of the London School of Economics, pointed to the 1) need to develop new interventions to help women during wars and conflicts, 2) move beyond international conferences, and 3) consider the impact of North-South relations on the women's movement. The director of CHANGE, the fourth speaker, identified current challenges for the women's movement while applauding the broadening of women's human rights issues. Finally, a representative of Oxfam UK/Ireland pointed to women's human rights as the future agenda for the women's movement and offered various strategies that could be used by the women's movement and development agencies to affect change.
PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1996 Winter; 35(4 Pt 2):825-32.The first part of this essay on mainstreaming women in development outlines the hard-won achievements of the women's movement in the past 20 years and acknowledges that the movement has failed to gain its fundamental objectives of transforming social and gender relations and creating a just and equal world. Considering the central question of why progress has been so elusive for women, the essay notes that the agenda the movement articulated challenged male power and privilege and called for investment in women that would require reallocation of existing resources or finding additional sources of revenue. Because women are differentiated by class, race, and nation, it is difficult to shape women into a powerful political constituency. Thus, the women's movement should adopt an agenda-setting approach and take a consistent stand on a core agenda. The next part of the essay describes some of the changes that a shift from an integrationist to an agenda-setting approach will entail and notes that this approach will require: 1) women to play a proactive leadership role and to clearly articulate a core agenda, 2) the strategic positioning of gender concerns in a period of change, 3) strengthening women's groups and networks, 4) using a new communication strategy to expand support, 5) developing context-specific concepts and analytical tools, and 6) building institutional capacities of aid recipients. The final section of essay notes that agenda-setting will raise awareness of the need to promote the equitable sharing of responsibilities in institutions such as families, communities, national governments, and global institutions.
Breastfeeding information resources: an international listing of sources of resource materials and organisations.
London, England, AHRTAG, . , 93 p. (AHRTAG Resource List)This breast feeding resource list is divided into 2 main sections. In the first section, resource materials are arranged according to the following categories: 1) reference materials and policy documents; 2) training materials and practical resources; 3) newsletters and journals; 4) posters, flannelgraphs, and flash cards; and 5) audiovisuals, including videos, films, radio scripts, and slide sets. In each section, the resources are listed alphabetically in language groupings (most are in English). Each listing describes the content, the target audience (if available), the name of the organization or individual producing it, the price (where given), and availability. The second section lists organizations involved in supporting breast feeding. These organizations have been grouped according to the following World Health Organization (WHO) regions: Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia, and Western Pacific. International and regional organizations are listed first within each region, followed by national and local organizations which are listed by country. In addition to contact information, the purpose of the organization and its main activities are given. Appended to this document are 1) the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, 2) a description of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, 3) information on World Breast Feeding Week, 4) a listing of available training courses, 5) a list of the countries in each WHO region, and 6) a list of organizations grouped by WHO region.
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.
In: Women's rights, human rights: international feminist perspectives, edited by Julie Peters and Andrea Wolper. New York, New York, Routledge, 1995. 18-35.This essay focuses primarily on the process leading up to the World Conference on Human Rights, in a necessarily suggestive, not comprehensive, manner. To begin what must be a broader research effort, I have interviewed advocates from regional networks, women's human right experts in health and legal matters, representatives from human rights organizations, and Global Campaign coordinators; their contributions have been supplemented by primary and secondary sources on women's human rights. Admittedly, this paper--pieced together in a short time by a woman from, and residing in, the United States--represents only a partial picture of the movement. Like other movements for women's rights, the women's human rights movement has evolved from women organizing on local, national, regional, and international levels around issues that affect their daily lives. One special component of this movement is women's entry into the political "space" opened by the United Nations; women have taken advantage of the opportunities presented by international meetings--such as the World Conference on Human Rights and those that took place during the UN Decade on Women--to organize among themselves while transforming the official agenda. (excerpt)
PRO FAMILIA MAGAZIN. 1992 Mar-Apr; (2):12-4.Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) enjoy regular attention in the wake of the misfortunes and failures of international family planning (FP) programs, since these are market-oriented management and knowledge organizations. Development assistance administrations increasingly rely on cooperation with NGOs because of their grass-roots orientation. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) verified in a 1990 study on reproductive rights of women that only 50% of UN members had a functional FP service. In Eastern Europe there has been a clear rejection of centralized bureaucracies making nonstate FP organizations consider their future orientation. For 20 years the IPPF sensitized UN organizations and governments to the idea of FP, being the first NGO in FP. At present hundreds of organization compete with IPPF, among them nonstate FP organizations (FPOs), research and educational outfits, lobby groups, and international women networks (International Women's Health Coalition, FINRAGE, ISIS, Women's Global Network of Reproductive Rights) with differing size, ideology, and influence. Critics are afraid of increasing bureaucratization and remoteness from human beings of such NGOs. The causes of meager success of institutionalized FP include lack of cultural modification, lagging practice of male contraception, sexual violence and discrimination against women, no halt to the spread of AIDS especially among heterosexuals, and feeble programs. A program of sexual culture integrates good and bad sexuality recognizing various life styles that men and women choose. It includes sexual emancipation. The elimination of exploitation of children and women requires further efforts. In view of the poverty and environmental destruction in developing countries, the program of sexual culture is necessary, since it will reestablish the sexual basis of family planning.
In: Changing perceptions: writings on gender and development, edited by Tina Wallace with Candida March. Oxford, England, Oxfam, 1991. 141-8.In this essay in a book of writings on gender and development, the author relates her experience as the first Woman Project Officer hired by the Oxfam West India office in 1984. The previously all-male staff decided to hire a woman with development experience to tackle gender issues and to attempt to involve women in development programs, especially in decision-making processes. The strategy used was to create structures which would enable women to form groups and, eventually, to define their own development activity priorities and needs. This strategy failed, largely because it was not relevant to the position of the women in their society. It became apparent, however, that women's development must be integrated in all aspects of Oxfam's work at the organizational, office, and program levels. In 1985, therefore, a group of women project officers formed a group called Action for Gender Relations Asia (AGRA) to work toward this goal. AGRA first concentrated on the organization of Oxfam and its staff but found its abilities limited by the fact that it was comprised solely of Oxfam staff. Studies of the impacts of various projects on women have been undertaken to develop awareness of appropriate strategies. The shift in strategy required that, instead of forming separate women's groups, women be incorporated in development efforts. These attempts were blocked by patriarchal male leaders. Thus, women were appointed as organizers of women's development. Since many of these women were inexperienced, the patriarchal set-up was reinforced. Also, whereas most of the development programs had economic goals, the work with the women emphasized conscientization and organization, which was difficult for some group leaders and staff members to accept. These attempts are part of a process of change that is constantly evolving. It is hoped that what was learned from them will contribute to an understanding of gender issues.
FOCUS ON GENDER. 1993 Jun; 1(2):17-23.Development and implementation of policies concerning refugees must involve the refugees. This is particularly true of women refugees, who were the subject of 1990 guidelines drawn up by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. These guidelines state that program effectiveness depends upon consulting with women and their dependents and stress the need to protect the legal rights of women and to assure their access to special programs. In order to incorporate refugee women in policy development, a member of the assessment team must be able to perform gender assessment, women who can work directly with refugee women must be recruited, all staff must be briefed on the relevant issues, women's committees must be formed as soon as possible, refugee women must be recruited to do health and sanitation work, and evaluation must include a gender perspective. More research is needed to add to the little that is known about refugee women, and such research must be sensitive to the fears and concerns of the women and their host government. Various case studies provide examples of the importance of involving refugee women in planning and decision-making. In one case, problems that arose while women had to wait days for water could have been mitigated if the women had been informed about the reasons for the delay. In other cases, involving refugee women in decision-making led to a more appropriate choice of crops to plant and to more equitable distribution of land and tools. Training of women in water storage and use, preparation of new food, and health care can improve conditions in camps. Existing women's groups can be supported, and new ones formed where necessary, such as the group formed to help Guatemalan refugee women in Mexico deal with mental health problems. It is necessary to listen to women in order to meet their needs and design appropriate programs.