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[Unpublished] 2003 Nov. 36 p.The GTZ supported Community Based Distribution (CBD) of family planning (FP) methods, implemented in Tanga region of Tanzania, aimed to increase the use of contraceptives through better geographical and social access. An evaluation collecting views from community members found that CBD activities are felt to improve child and maternal health, and to free women to participate in economic and community work. Clients felt that the FP accessed through CBD gave them improved capacity to care for their smaller families and to work more productively. Community members also felt that CBD introduced sensitive topics such as HIV/AIDS in a culturally acceptable way. In short, the community clearly expressed how CBD activities contribute to reaching the MDG. Much of the programme has been successfully absorbed into the district work plan, but initial training of CBD is still financially dependent on GTZ, putting into question the programme's sustainability. The issues that the feedback on the CBD Programme focused on which are summarized in this report include the following: its usefulness, its organization, its main strengths and successes, its weaknesses and problems, suggestions given to enhance performance. (excerpt)
[Oral contraception in France in 2001: results of an opinion poll survey conducted on 3609 women between 15 and 45] La contraception orale en France en 2001: resultats d’une enquete par sondage portant sur 3609 femmes agees de 15 a 45 ans.
Gynecologie, Obstetrique and Fertilite. 2003 Mar; 31(3):220-229.The aim of this study concerning the taking of the pill in France in 2001 was threefold, i.e. to assess its rate as well as its characteristics of use, and to appraise the most frequent side effects as reported by women. Three thousand six hundred and nine women representative of the French female population between 15 and 45 years of age were recruited thanks to a survey, which took place in 2001. The data were collected from self-questionnaires. Women on the whole have quite a good opinion of oral contraception and most of them are convinced of its efficiency. As far as pill tolerance is concerned, opinions do vary, more than half of the women judging that being on the pill is not without side-effects. Though, the rate of use of oral contraceptives has increased by 12% since 1994. Most women (48%) use first and second generation pills and this in all age brackets. Thirty per cent of women aged 30 to 45 keep loyal to the same patent medicine, which they keep using for more than 10 years. Among the side-effects that can be found, two of them - putting on weight (31%) and hydrosodium retention (26%) - are the most frequently quoted, in all age brackets. This accounts for the relatively low ratio of women who find their pill quite satisfactory (58% of the cases). Despite the diversity of all the different patented pills that are available, efforts are still to be made in order to reduce what side-effects are encountered when using them. (author's)
Sanger File. 2003 Jan 15; (10): p..Every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I wonder if this will be its last. Roe, decided in 1973, overturned the states' criminal abortion laws as a violation of a citizen's right to privacy. For 30 years the right wing has made the overturn of Roe one if its top priorities. The political goal of the right wing is to get Justices on the Supreme Court who will overturn the decision. The election of George W. Bush combined with a Republican-controlled Senate and House gives the right wing the chance they have been waiting for. Some of the Justices who support Roe are not in the best of health and may step down from the court, leaving a vacancy for President Bush and the Senate to fill. In a political sense, all that stands between the President and Senate doing this is the Democratic minority which could threaten a filibuster, which would take 60 votes out of 100 to defeat. The Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate. The issue is whether the pro-choice Democrats have the political courage to make this stand. (excerpt)
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)
Journal of Population and Social Studies. 2003 Jul; 12(1):93-103.This research study focused on male opinions as far as they play an important role in affecting female decision making. This research is a part of the "HIV-Positive Women: Voices and Choices" project. The sample group of this research consisted of a group of males from Bangkok, Northern and Northeastern Thailand between the ages of 20 and 62 years. The main topics of this study are 1) how do men feel about HIV-positive women in general, 2) family planning for HIV-positive females, 3) male opinion of abortion and 4) male opinion of receiving health services and sexual acknowledgement of HIV-positive women. The results: Men feel that HIV-positive women are to be pitied and sympathize with them, however, the level of empathy is lower or nonexistent if that HIV-positive woman is not related to them. The male sample group thinks that HIV-positive women should not have a child or even consider having a child as they are concerned about the child's safety and, most importantly, the significant responsibility of child care and expenses. Lastly, the sample group strongly suggests that an HIV-positive woman should use birth control methods. Nevertheless, health education for HIV-positive women is a need. The sample group believes that HIV-positive women should be treated with the same level of health care services as people without HIV. (author's)
Canadian Woman Studies / Les Cahiers de la Femme. 2003 Spring-Summer; 22(3-4):16-24.Levels of public concern in the U.S. over trafficking in women and children have peaked twice in the last century: between 1907 and 1913 during the controversy over “white slavery” and again in the 1990s with the rising concern over global sex trafficking. It is not surprising that trafficking—-a phenomenon so closely linked to notions of movement and mobility—-would emerge as a major social issue during these two periods. The first and last decades of the twentieth century both witnessed seismic demographic shifts. Nearly 1,000,000 people immigrated to the U.S. per year between 1905 and 1914. After World War I immigration declined sharply, partly due to restrictive new citizenship laws. The U.S. would not see similar levels of immigration until 1989, the inaugural year of an eleven-year wave of heightened migration (Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services). The two periods under scrutiny share additional features in common: facilitated by the introduction of new technologies—-railroad and new communications technologies respectively—-capital expanded during both periods, seeking out inexpensive labour and new markets for its products and services. Not surprisingly, informal and illicit markets flourished as well, including the gun, drug, and sex trades. Increased migration led to domestic anxieties over immigration during both periods. Early twentieth-century reform movements were largely a middle-class response to the dramatic expansion of the U.S. urban population. Many of the new immigrants arriving on U.S. shores hailed from eastern and southern Europe and were largely Catholic, Jewish, and atheist, precipitating a wave of xenophobia among the slightly-more-rooted Protestant populations. Likewise, the collapse of communism in Eastern-bloc countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s intensified the movement of people on a global scale. This global shift coupled with increased migration to the U.S. from the south resulted in a resurgence of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. and abroad. (excerpt)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003 Jun. 4 p. (Facts. Fact Sheet)Each year, there are approximately fifteen million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the U.S., and this country has the highest rate of STD infection in the industrialized world. By age 24, at least one out of every four Americans is believed to have contracted an STD, and an estimated 65 million Americans are now living with an incurable STD. Research suggests that women are biologically more susceptible to STD exposure than men. While STDs, including HIV, affect every age group, people under 25 account for roughly two-thirds of all new STD infections: 42 percent occur among those aged 20-24 and 25 percent occur among 15-to-19-year-olds. CDC data also show higher reported rates of STDs among some racial and ethnic minority groups, compared with rates among whites – possibly reflecting overall health disparities as well as greater use of public health clinics by minority populations. (excerpt)
International Social Work. 2003 Apr; 46(2):209-219.Genetics is a relatively new science with a wide range of applications that lead to an even broader range of issues. Since Darwin (1859) proposed his theory of evolution in Origin of the Species, scientists have been trying to locate the biological structures for the transmission of traits from generation to generation. The 20th century yielded considerable fruit in this endeavor. In fact, a complete map for this transmission process is close at hand. On 26 June 2000 Craig Venter, President Bill Clinton and Francis Collins announced the completion of an initial sequencing of the human genome (Hamilton and Regalado, 2001; Collins and McKusick, 2001; Collins, 1999; National Research Council, 2000). Called the Human Genome Project, this has already identified the genes determining Huntington's chorea, polycystic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and various other genetic diseases (Hodgkinson et al., 1990; Varekamp et al., 1990; Wertz et al., 1992). The purpose of the Human Genome Project is to identify, prevent or cure genetic abnormalities. As this research progresses, many preventions and cures for hereditary diseases seem to be within reach, although identification of these diseases is often the only recourse at this time (Hamilton and Noble, 1983; Paul, 1997; Von Wartburg and Liew, 1999). Currently, genetic screening is becoming increasingly available to the public (Fertel and Reiss, 1997; Rauch, 1988; Schroeder, 1991; Young and Robinson, 1984). History suggests that as testing procedures are made available, they are rapidly introduced to the American public. For example, shortly after the test for polio was discovered it was administered to millions of American children. (excerpt)
Public Opinion Quarterly. 2003 Fall; 67(3):407-429.This article presents public opinion data from the late 1980s to 2003 on several key aspects of abortion that have comprised the central points of debate on this issue. These include the morality of abortions, whether they should be legal, proposed constitutional amendments that would ban abortion, and support for abortion access under various specific circumstances. Several arguably second-tier issues-federal funding, spousal and parental notification, and waiting periods-are also tracked over the past decade to fill out this overview of recent public opinion trends on abortion. Because of space limitations, this collection of poll trends comprises only a portion of the available data. Various survey organizations have also asked related questions, including questions on the perceived linkage between the demand for abortions and sexual promiscuity, perceptions of why women most often seek abortions, feelings of guilt after having an abortion, support for sex education in schools, positions of the Roman Catholic Church on abortion, federal funding for abortions for poor women, as well as variations on many of the questions presented here. Among the findings from those questions is that support for abortion is largely dependent on the perceived motivations and circumstances of women who seek the procedure. Support for abortions in cases of an unwanted gender or because the pregnancy may interfere with a woman's career tends to be very low, for instance, even though general support for abortion, as gauged by questions that do not present specific circumstances, remains, more often than not, the majority position. (excerpt)
Dissent. 2003 Fall; 67-73.Most Progressives would say the abortion debate is intractable because it reflects the huge gap between conservative Christian and secular humanist values. I'd like to offer another theory one not incompatible with this one, but a supplement to it. The abortion debate is intractable at this time because the two major political parties in the United States exploit this issue to pursue electoral majorities. Republicans use the abortion issue to forge coalitions with right-wing and fundamentalist Christian voters. Democrats use it to attract women voters. Neither party will risk modifying its rigid position for fear of alienating the constituencies that the abortion issue has helped attract. Opinion surveys over the past thirty years, however, indicate that the majority of Americans support some abortions as well as some restrictions. Most voters, that is, fall between the positions represented by those who refuse to recognize any problems with the legal status quo and those who want to change it radically. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., USAID, Bureau for Global Health, 2003 Oct. (7)  p. (Success Stories -- HIV / AIDS)NEARLY 4 MILLION PEOPLE IN INDIA are infected with HIV—the second highest figure in the world. Staggering misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted and a reluctance to publicly discuss the disease fuel its spread. But an innovative and aggressive HIV/AIDS education and awareness campaign implemented in 12 major port communities across India is helping to dispel widespread myths surrounding HIV/AIDS and to open channels of communication, enabling those who are at high risk for infection to learn how to steer clear of the disease. The campaign—implemented by Population Services International, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development—features several components. In Mumbai, it revolves around Balbir Pasha, a fictional character the target audience of young, urban men can relate to, learn from, and empathize with. Balbir is portrayed in a series of identifiable, real-life sexual situations in which he runs the risk of contracting HIV. Scenarios concern the use of alcohol and “forgetting” to use a condom, the mistaken belief that having a regular partner (even a prostitute or casual partner) means one is safe from HIV/AIDS infection, and the misconception that if one’s partner looks healthy, he or she must be free of HIV/AIDS. (excerpt)
Situation analysis of the knowledge, attitudes and behavior of stakeholders and key target groups regarding the family planning program in the Philippines.
[Manila, Philippines], Academy for Educational Development [AED], Social Acceptance Project, 2003 Jan.  p. (Academy for Educational Development, Social Acceptance Project Working Paper)The initiative for this research study came from the Social Acceptance Project of the Academy for Education and Development (AED) which has been launched by USAID as part of the continuing reexamination of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) and in response to the Cairo Declaration calling for fresh initiatives and approaches not only for women but also other key stakeholders such as men and youth. The re-focusing of the country’s population program calls for no less than the creation of a climate of public opinion that supports and encourages couples to practice effective family planning methods in vast enough numbers that will impact the country’s runaway population growth that is considered to be the highest in Southeast Asia. In the light of these social communication issues and concerns, the Social Acceptance Project had come up with the following approaches to “internalize” the small family norm and use of modern contraceptive methods among Filipinos through: a) Increase health literacy and improve the flow of accurate information about family planning; b) Increase dialogue about family planning and the credibility of health providers and the medical profession as sources of information; c) Raise the cultural legitimacy of family planning practice; and d) Build local capacities. This report in turn, was designed to: provide a basic review of the psychological, sociological and cultural factors that may result in the practice or non-practice of family planning; briefly analyze the issues and concerns that explain how communication interventions can lead to behavioral change, client satisfaction, and other desired results for the Social Acceptance Project; come up with a list of recommendations that can be used for future researches and/ or monitoring and evaluation of proposed IEC interventions. (excerpt)
Cambridge, England, Cambridge University Press, 2003. xiv, 226 p.During the late twentieth century, the issue of gender equality once again became a major issue on the global agenda. The UN Decade for Women, which indeed in 1985, initiated the integration of women into development, triggering the formation of thousands of women’s organizations and networking them across the world. The trend accelerated during the following decade. In 1993, the Vienna World Conference proclaimed that women’s rights were human rights; in 1994, the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development placed women’s empowerment and health at the center of sustainable development programs. Two years later, the Beijing Fourth World Conference of Women adopted a platform seeking to promote and protect the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all women. Although there has been sustainable progress toward gender equality in much of the world, great disparities persist, as systematic indicators demonstrate. (excerpt)
Mumbai, India, Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes [CEHAT], 2003 Jun. , 51 p.This study report is based on a need-assessment survey conducted in connection with the BMC's plant to set up a municipal general hospital in one of its ward. The study area is unique in the sense that it is the most populous ward in Greater Mumbai, and yet, it does not have a single public hospital within its limits. Data was collected from 1,035 households spread across three health-post areas around the proposed hospital site. The study was able to bring out the utility of public health care services in the area, and to find out how the population copes with their health care needs when public health care services are not available in their locality. It is to be noted that this is a predominantly lower middle class and lower class population, which resides in the study area. In spite of not having a public hospital, for ailments reported during the reference period, about 30 per cent of the patients had sought inpatient care services from the public sector outside the locality, and about 15 per cent had sought outpatient care services from BMC facilities. Though travel time and travel costs were higher, because of financial reasons the public were still seeking health care from public health care outlets outside their locality. Analysis shows that non-availability of a public hospital was forcing about 44 per cent of the households to seek inpatient care services from the private sector, even if they were interested in seeking care from the public sector. Even the outpatient care services that were currently available in the area seemed to be inadequate, as 67 per cent of the households were having their need for outpatient care services unmet. When the poorest of the poor were left with no alternative but to seek care from public health care facility in other wards, others were "managing" with the services in the private sector where out-of-pocket expenses of treating an ailment was several times higher than that in the public sector. A majority of those who were currently "managing" their inpatient care needs through private hospitals, were willing to shift to the public health care system if made available in the locality. (author's)
Patrifocal concerns in the lives of women in academic science: continuity of tradition and emerging challenges.
Indian Journal of Gender Studies. 2003 May-Aug; 10(2):279-305.This paper examines the social milieu of women academic scientists, parental influence in decision making in regard to the career of their daughters, parents’ expectations, importance of marriage and the criteria involved therein. The support of parents and spouse are vital for the success of women scientists. Nevertheless, the “dual burden” has an impact on professional work, and the consequent redefinition of “success” is clearly a product of patrifocal social structures and ideology. (author's)
Opinions on changes in the Romanian health care system from people's point of view: a descriptive study.
Health Policy. 2003 Nov; 66(2):123-134.After 10 years of changes, the Romanian people were asked to assess the consequences of the reforms that were carried out through the health care system in the last decennium. This article studies the opinion of changes among individuals and socio-economic-demographic groups living in Dolj region. Such surveys are rare in Romania. People show to have different opinions on quality of care, accessibility and on attitudes of politicians to health care comparing the present state of affaires with the past one. Overall the people judge the actual situation preferable to the past. The elderly, the chronically ill and the people who believe that people were happier 10 years ago have a more critical view on the changes especially in terms of accessibility. The higher educated people have a more positive opinion on the consequences of the reforms. The results may help to improve the communication between policy makers and the population. It is suggested that the involvement of the citizens in the health care reforms may realize a better implementation of Romanian health care reforms. This involvement is lacking. (author's)
Journal of Nutrition. 2003 Nov; 133:3319-3322.Even in a world with adequate food supplies in global markets, which is the situation today, biotechnology offers important opportunities to developing countries in four domains. First, many agronomically hostile or degraded environments require major scientific breakthroughs to become productive agricultural systems. Few of these breakthroughs are likely to be achieved through traditional breeding approaches. Second, biofortification offers the promise of greater quantities and human availabilities of micronutrients from traditional staple foods, with obvious nutritional gains for poor consumers, especially their children. Third, many high yielding agricultural systems are approaching their agronomic potential. Radically new technologies will be required to sustain productivity growth in these systems, and only modern genetic technology offers this hope. Finally, many cropping systems use large quantities of chemical inputs, such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers that can be unhealthy for people and soils alike. Biotechnology offers the potential to reduce the need for these inputs in economically and environmentally sustainable ways. Applying these new technologies to society’s basic foods raises obvious concerns for both human and ecological health. For some, these concerns have become outright fear, and this has mobilized a backlash against genetically modified foods in any form. These concerns (and fears) must be addressed carefully and rationally so that the public understands the risks (which are not zero) and benefits (which might be enormous). Only the scientific community has the expertise and credibility to build this public understanding. (author's)
Women's Health Journal. 2003 Jan-Mar; 1:11-14.The Mesa Feminista de Trabajosobre Aborto (Feminist Working Group on Abortion) is the initiative of a group of women interested in debating and analyzing this issue in a country with one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. Abortion is totally prohibited in Chile, even when the woman's life or health is at risk. Women who have abortions, those who provide abortion services, and anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion can be punished with jail sentences. (excerpt)
London, England, London School of Economics, 2003 Jun 27. 24 p.The goal of this paper is to focus on Uganda’s recent move to free universal primary education in order to ask whether the success of the UPE program can be attributed to democratic politics. While my primary objective is to explore the Ugandan case in order to ask when and where a move to competitive elections will result in increased government spending on education, it is clear that additional factors have been equally critical in leading to the success of UPE. The Ugandan government has been able to meet its objectives in the area of primary education, because as a prior condition it established macroeconomic stability. It has also developed an exemplary set of budgetary institutions that have allowed a reorientation of expenditures towards sectors that are announced as priorities. Attempts by other democratically elected African government to implement universal primary education programs are unlikely to succeed unless they also follow the broader example set by Uganda in the area of public sector management. Because other contributions, such as the recent survey by Bevan (2001), have already described in detail how Uganda’s “medium term expenditure framework” and related budgetary institutions have been successful in generating both macroeconomic stability and a reorientation of expenditures towards education, I will nonetheless devote the bulk of this paper to investigating the less well understood issue of the link between democratic politics and UPE. (excerpt)
[Washington, D.C.], NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, 2003 Jan 21. 8 p.Refusal clauses (sometimes called “conscience” clauses) permit a broad range of individuals and institutions — including hospitals, hospital employees, health care providers, employers, and insurers — to refuse to provide, pay, counsel or even refer for medical treatment based on their moral or religious views. (excerpt)
In: Handbook of health communication, edited by Teresa L. Thompson, Alicia M. Dorsey, Katherine I. Miller, Roxanne Parrott. Mahwah, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003. 403-422.In this chapter we enter into the quagmire that is U.S. healthcare policymaking. In doing so, we have three goals in mind: (a) to summarize contemporary models of the policymaking process, including the role that organizational discourse plays in it; (b) to examine the distinctive complexities of healthcare policymaking; and (c) to briefly illustrate those processes and complexities in an analysis of the development of Medicare. In the process we argue that the fragmented and incoherent nature of U.S. healthcare policy is not "accidental," as Reagan's title suggests, but instead is inherent in a complex interaction between the structure and processes of policymaking, the ideological bases of health discourse, and the rhetoric of healthcare reform. (excerpt)
Pitfalls of power to the people: decentralization, local government performance, and system support in Bolivia. [Dificultades de transferir el poder al pueblo: descentralización, desempeño del gobierno local y respaldo del sistema en Bolivia]
Studies in Comparative International Development. 2003 Winter; 37(4):64-88.Across the developing world, many governments have implemented political reforms-- heavily promoted by international donors--designed to transfer greater power to subnational levels of government and to provide a more substantial policymaking and oversight role to citizens. Although economic analyses have frequently argued that such decentralization programs improve the efficiency of public expenditures, far less is known about their political impact. Based on an analysis of two large national public-opinion surveys from Bolivia, a country that has recently implemented one of the most comprehensive decentralization reforms yet attempted in Latin America, we analyze the role decentralized local institutions are playing in shaping citizen attitudes toward their political system. Our findings support the contention that decentralization can bolster citizen levels of system support at the national level. Equally important, however, we also demonstrate that the renewed emphasis on local government can have the opposite effect of producing more negative views of the political system when the performance of local institutions falters. (author's)