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UN Chronicle. 2003 Dec; 40(4): p..The media, as an important agent of socialization in the modern world, either support or contest cultural conceptions, and have a significant impact on the social construction of gender. The media's effects operate at the level of gender belief systems, affecting individual "beliefs and opinions about males and females, and about the purported qualities of masculinity and femininity". The mass media have been found to play a critical role in maintaining the gender-power imbalance, "passing on dominant, patriarchal/sexist values". But such a situation is not inherent in the nature of media. They can instead be agents of development and progress if guided by clear, socially relevant policies. Their hoped-for positive contribution to women's advancement will only take place in the context of a framework that clearly defines policy objectives, maps out actions and decisions which comprise the particular policy, defines the minimum standards to be met by all participants in the process, and provides mechanisms for assessing progress towards policy objectives. (excerpt)
Pretoria, South Africa, Africa Insitute of South Africa, Peace and Governance Programme, 2002. vi, 14 p. (Africa Institute Occasional Paper No. 68; Peace and Governance Programme No. 4)If lasting peace is to be sustained, it is important that preventive diplomacy be effectively applied in future, something which has thus far not always been managed successfully. The mistakes that have been made in the past can serve as a guideline to formulate a series of recommendations for the future. First, it is essential to define the concept preventive diplomacy. The next step is to describe the dimensions of the conflict in Sierra Leone. Bilateral negotiations between parties, appeals by international actors and the threat or use of force in the maintenance and restoration of regional balances of power are selected as a few key preventive tools for analysis. Finally, recommendations are made in this volume about how preventive diplomacy should be applied in future to prevent the country's fragile peace from falling apart yet again. (excerpt)
London, England, Taylor and Francis, 1994. viii, 179 p. (Social Aspects of AIDS)Community involvement in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic has been central to helping to create the social, political, and cultural response to HIV/AIDS. At this point, no government or international agency HIV/AIDS program can be effective if it does not cooperate with and support grassroots responses. Moreover, the AIDS epidemic has been a powerful impetus to grassroots organizations of groups that have been marginalized as a result of gender, sexual orientation, race, or poverty. On the other hand, the emerging global AIDS industry has the potential to subvert traditional power structures and become isolated from those it claims to serve. Community groups can be co-opted into carrying out the agenda of this "industry" or they can continue to be subversive of the dominant social order. The central challenge facing the community movement is how to strengthen its political effectiveness without compromising its basis in grassroots participation and control. Of concern are emerging tensions within community-based organizations between activism and service provision, altruism and self-help, volunteer participation and management control, and fluidity of function and increasing bureaucratization. Another concern is the potential for effective community and nongovernmental organization-sponsored programs to take the pressure off of governments to provide or reform essential health services. Direct community sector involvement in the policy making process represents the best strategy for ensuring that national AIDS policies are responsive to those most affected by the epidemic.
Motivation and legitimation: living conditions, social control and the reproductive regimes in Belgium and France from the 16th through the 19th century.
Brussels, Belgium, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Interuniversity Programme in Demography, 1989. 46 p. (IPD Working Paper 1989-2)The economic, political, and social records of Belgium and France from the 16th through the 19th century were analyzed, and the influence of material living conditions, strategies of property transmission, and attempts by elites to alter popular culture on nuptiality and marital fertility during the period are detailed. Reasons for France's early marital fertility decline are compared with Belgium's more delayed transition. It is stressed that rising household income is not the only path the change. There are many paths to marital fertility transition. Historical analysis reveals that classic factors believed to lead to demographic transition do not explain the first half of the French fertility decline. Demographic transition is also possible as a result of economic and political crises forcing ideological overhaul. Explaining the nature of these alternate paths to change, the role of institutional actors such as religious and political agencies in competing for power and influence to impose and defend their ideologies is pointed out. These are active and dynamic agencies capable of altering strategies when required. Such agencies have had a significant impact on the course of demographic history in the 2 countries examined. Models of demographic change must incorporate the effect of these institutional agencies. The need for joint motivation and legitimation in effecting transition is discussed.
Social Science and Medicine. 1992 Jan; 34(1):63-73.Data from eastern and central sub-Saharan Africa suggest that women in countries of the region are increasingly at risk for HIV infection. Poverty, malnutrition, uncontrolled fertility, complications of childbirth, and sex behavior associated with male/female rural-urban migration are contributory factors. While much may go into preventing the transmission of HIV, the cooperative participation of both sex partners is certainly required. Further, while campaigns may educate both men and women of the need to limit the number and choice of sex partners, and use condoms during intercourse, they may fail to recognize the highly unfeasible nature of these behavioral changes for the majority of sub-Saharan African women. Marginally included in the development process, and poorly empowered to make decisions regarding male or female sexuality, women are largely subject to the sexual demands and economic rewards of their male sex partners. Husbands and/or other sex partners may strongly resist or refuse to employ condoms during sexual intercourse. Social expectations and/or economic necessity, however, often dictate a woman's compliance with the man's choice despite her desire to use a condom. HIV transmission and the risk to women and children, national development and the status of women, accommodation to economic scarcity, altering high-risk behavior, symbolic approaches to behavior change, and methodological issues in the study of these issues are discussed. Research is then proposed on understanding the meaning of AIDS, the context and norms of decision making, the norms of sexual behavior, the gatekeepers of sexual behavior change, the economic determinants of sexual risk, womens perceptions of control, and gender-sensitive strategies for reducing the risk of AIDS. Such research will provide a better understanding of how women perceive and respond to AIDS prevention interventions, and will constitute a necessary 1st step toward increasing male participation in protecting themselves and their families.
ASIA-PACIFIC POPULATION JOURNAL. 1990 Jun; 5(2):73-8.Technology and population rely on each other for sustenance and growth. Technology has helped produce more food, provide better health care, better communication, faster modes of travel, better consumer durables, greater amenities, and increased the quality of life for millions of people. There has been a price in terms of the widening gap between the technology of the developed and developing countries. There has also been rapid population growth that has resulted in a host of ills. Further, technology itself has produced toxic wastes and consumed a large amount of natural resources. This situation is easily seen as a dilemma between the limitless promises of technology and the limited resources created by large populations. The solution to the dilemma is sustainable development, a concept often talked about but seldom realized. The 90s will be a crucial decade for sustainable development as population is growing by 90 million/annum. 90% of the increase is occurring in developing countries. Within each country there is a trend towards urbanization. By 2000, 75% of Latin Americans, 42% of Africans, and 37% of Asians will live in urban environments. By 2050 there should be 100s of millions of migrants running from the slowly rising sea. The survival equation is sustainability S equals resources R time ingenuity 1 over population P. This is a conceptual equation, but it does illustrate that the impact of human ingenuity is just as important as resources. World commitment must come before any meaningful change will occur. The almost universal acceptance of human rights and fundamental freedoms exceeds the will to change in decision makers and expert consultants.