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Articles by Category for ‘Women’

Japan: ‘Groundwork needed to stem population decline’

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

‘Groundwork needed to stem population decline’

See: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001510864

Former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Hiroya Masuda has long grappled with various issues arising from a continued decline in the nation’s population. In an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, Masuda said now is the time for the government to lay the foundation for a long-term fight against Japan’s low birthrate. The following is an excerpt from the interview.

 
The Yomiuri Shimbun: In May, the Japan Policy Council, a private-sector expert panel that you chair, released its estimates on the population decline. By the end of 2040, the number of women aged 20 to 39 will likely decrease by more than 50 percent in 896 cities, wards, towns and villages nationwide, or about half of the total municipalities, according to the projection. The council said about half of these municipalities could be wiped off the map.

 
Masuda: Population decline has been a concern of mine since my days as the governor of Iwate (1995-2007). During that time, enormous progress was made in integrating and closing down primary schools in the prefecture. But the process was accompanied by severe negative effects. This was evident in, for example, the difficulty in maintaining local communities that some areas experienced [due to the loss of primary schools].

 
However, [the consolidation] had to be carried out to accommodate a progressive decline in the number of children. The situation caused me to face a question: What will become of my prefecture in 20 years?

 
Even before the release of the panel’s estimates, many city, town and village mayors were more or less aware that the population was bound to decrease.

See: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001510864

Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-babatunde-osotimehin/expanding-sexual-reproduc_b_5685822.html

With just 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we must all intensify our actions to hit our targets, especially the MDG 5 targets to reduce maternal death and achieve universal reproductive health.

There is no time for complacency when 800 women and girls continue to die each day of pregnancy and childbirth complications, and more than 220 million women who want to plan their births continue to lack modern contraception.

To speed up progress, I am excited about a new public-private partnership that plans to save an additional 140,000 women and 250,000 newborns and significantly increase access to reproductive health services, including modern contraception, by the end of 2015. We are working together — governments, the United Nations system, civil society and the private sector — guided by a roadmap, we unveiled last month, to accelerate maternal and newborn survival.

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-babatunde-osotimehin/expanding-sexual-reproduc_b_5685822.html

 

Safety nets for birth control coverage aren’t working in U.S.A.

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Safety nets for birth control coverage aren’t working

The number of poor women who need contraception has gone up nearly a quarter. The number getting it has dropped

See: HERE

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of American women in need of publicly funded family planning services went up 22 percent. The number of women able to access those services did not. Instead, it declined, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute. Recent estimates show that 20 million women qualify as “in need” of publicly funded contraception typically provided by Title X services, instituted decades ago to provide family planning assistance (because even Richard Nixon knew that accessible birth control is a good idea).But the ongoing partisan crusade against abortion providers, in which Title X programs have unfortunately been included, has left just over one-fifth of qualifying patients covered.

“The number of women needing publicly funded contraceptive services has skyrocketed over the last decade,” Rachel Gold, Guttmacher’s acting vice president for public policy, said in a statement. “Publicly funded family planning centers are safety-net providers – they are essential in enabling women to plan the pregnancies they want and avoid the ones that they don’t. But public funding sources – such as the federal Title X program and state revenues – are failing to keep pace with women’s growing needs.”

In 2000, public clinics were able to provide coverage for just 41 percent of the low-income women who qualified for it; that number dropped 10 percent by 2012, when Title X was able to serve just 4.3 million women. Despite the program’s inability to keep up with growing demand, it has still offered crucial assistance: Guttmacher credits public clinics with helping to avoid 1.5 million unintended pregnancies in 2012, which would have resulted in 741,000 unplanned births and 510,000 abortions. Title X health centers provided more than 70 percent of those services, which kept the combined rate of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion down by 44 percent. It also saved the U.S. a whole lot of money.

See: HERE

Uganda Teen Pregnancies’ Plan Under Fire

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Uganda Teen Pregnancies’ Plan Under Fire 

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407270016.html?viewall=1

Kampala – A new Ugandan sex-education campaign to reduce teen pregnancy, maternal mortality among young women and girls, and the cost of post-abortion medical care, is generating heated debate.

The one year campaign “Let Girls Be Girls” was officially launched on 13 July by the Health Ministry and UN Population Fund (UNFPA). It aims to address the growing vulnerability of girls to early pregnancy and birth related complications, and hopes to reduce deaths among young mothers aged 15-24 from the current 24 percent to 15 percent by July 2015.

The programme provides free contraceptives to adolescents in schools, and sex education to local communities, parents, pupils and teachers on the rights children have to a safe and secure environment within their homes, schools and communities.

“Our campaign is ‘Let Girls Be Girls’ and not young wives or mothers. Our emphasis is on sex education and empowering girls and boys to say no to early sex before marriage and to report men and boys disturbing them,” Zainab Akol, principal medical officer, family planning, at the Ministry of Health, told IRIN.

“We want them [girls] to preserve their fertility and not do abortions. We also want all those who get pregnant to return and complete school,” she said.

According to the 2011 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS), 24 percent of female teenagers are either pregnant or have given birth already. About 14 percent of young women and 16 percent of young men had their first sexual encounter before the age of 15, while 57 percent of young women had their first encounter before the age of 18, the survey found.

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407270016.html?viewall=1

US, African leaders must tackle child marriage

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

US, African leaders must tackle child marriage 

See: https://www.devex.com/news/us-african-leaders-must-tackle-child-marriage-84051
This week, more than 40 African heads of state are in Washington, D.C., for the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The theme is “Investing in the Next Generation,” which is fitting given the youthful demographics of the continent and the significant issues the next generation faces – from recent abductions of Nigerian schoolgirls to unemployment and forced recruitment of child soldiers, to name a few.

I hope the Obama administration will use this opportunity to lead for girls and announce new commitments to end child, early and forced marriage. Evidence compiled by the International Center for Research on Women and others has consistently shown that adolescent girls are among the most vulnerable to rights abuses and are yet the best-positioned to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous future when they have a fair chance – a decent education, access to health care and the opportunity to contribute economically.

However, these opportunities escape child brides, who are less likely to finish their education, more likely to experience violence, sexually transmitted infections, early pregnancy and complications in childbirth, typically living a life of domestic servitude. This is not only a violation of their fundamental human rights, but also an unnecessary and avoidable challenge to the outcomes African leaders gathering this week seek – more educated, healthy and productive societies.

See: https://www.devex.com/news/us-african-leaders-must-tackle-child-marriage-84051

Reducing Carbon by Curbing Population

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Reducing Carbon by Curbing Population 

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/business/economy/population-curbs-as-a-means-to-cut-carbon-emissions.html?_r=0

Remember the population explosion?

When population was growing at its fastest rate in human history in the decades after World War II, the sense that overpopulation was stunting economic development and stoking political instability took hold from New Delhi to the United Nations’ headquarters in New York, sending policy makers on an urgent quest to stop it.

In the 1970s the Indian government forcibly sterilized millions of women. Families in Bangladesh, Indonesia and elsewhere were forced to have fewer children. In 1974, the United Nations organized its first World Population Conference to debate population control. China rolled out its one-child policy in 1980.

Then, almost as suddenly as it had begun, the demographic “crisis” was over. As fertility rates in most of the world dropped to around the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman – with the one major exception of sub-Saharan Africa – population specialists and politicians turned to other issues.

By 1994, when the U.N. held its last population conference, in Cairo, demographic targets had pretty much been abandoned, replaced by an agenda centered on empowering women, reducing infant mortality and increasing access to reproductive health.

“Some people still regret that; some applaud it,” said Joel E. Cohen, who heads the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University in New York. “I’m not sure we need demographic goals but we need forward thinking.”

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/business/economy/population-curbs-as-a-means-to-cut-carbon-emissions.html?_r=0

Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment Aims to Shed Light on Pop-Environment Link

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment Aims to Shed Light on Pop-Environment Link 

See: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/08/family-planning-environmental-sustainability-assessment-aims-shed-light-population-environment-link/

As global environmental change accelerates, understanding how population dynamics affect the environment is more important than ever. It seems obvious that human-caused climate change has at least something to do with the quadrupling of world population over the last 100 years.

But the evidence that slower population growth is good for the environment – logical as that statement may seem – has never been extensive, with conceptual models, empirical research, and data often lacking on key issues.

An ambitious new Worldwatch project, the Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment, hopes to help redress this, shedding light on how increased access to voluntary family planning services can support environmental sustainability.

See: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/08/family-planning-environmental-sustainability-assessment-aims-shed-light-population-environment-link/

Hot Hulu web novella ‘East Los High’ spans media platforms to help young Latinos make smart choices, researchers say

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Hot Hulu web novella ‘East Los High’ spans media platforms to help young Latinos make smart choices, researchers say

See: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/07/024.html

BUFFALO, N.Y. – “East Los High,” the trailblazing, addictive and hugely popular Hulu original series, uses a range of digital media platforms to involve its audience in the lives, scandals and emotional traumas of Latino students attending a fictional high school in East Los Angeles, California, and communication experts say it works on both the entertainment and educational levels.

The first season was streamed online in summer 2013; the second season was premiered on July 9.  Only a few days later, Hulu announced their renewal of the show for a third season. As one critic said, “Latin heat – East LA never looked so good.”

It is the first-ever English language series with an all-Latino cast to address issues in Latino communities in the United States.  Characters are complex and realistic, and through the program they learn to make smart lifestyle and health choices, especially in the area of sexual and reproductive health.

See: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/07/024.html

With too many mouths to feed, Kenya headed for trouble

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

With too many mouths to feed, Kenya headed for trouble 

See: http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/Kenya-Population-Management-Vision-2030-Resources/-/957860/2391356/-/hxm0dw/-/index.html

At 34 years, Teresia Kananu is a mother of six; five girls and one boy. Her first born is 19 years old while her last born just turned four. When she got pregnant with her first child, she had just fallen in love; the breathy, reckless kind of first love that makes an impressionable 15-year-old leave her parents’ home and move in with her boyfriend.

She had dreams for her young family, dreams that she would see her two children grow up strong and healthy and educated.

Yes, she wanted just two children, and she was determined to give them the education she never had, having dropped out of school at Standard Two after, she says, her father refused to continue paying her school fees.

Nineteen years down the line, Teresia finds herself the mother of six children, none of whom she has managed to educate beyond primary school. They all live in a two-room tin-house which looks like it can collapse at the slightest hint of a stiff wind.

Her first husband and the father of her first three children died under mysterious circumstances while in prison. She remarried, and then three more children came.

See: http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/Kenya-Population-Management-Vision-2030-Resources/-/957860/2391356/-/hxm0dw/-/index.html

The Next Phase of the Birth Control War: Religious Discrimination Lawsuits

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The Next Phase of the Birth Control War: Religious Discrimination Lawsuits 

See: http://www.care2.com/causes/the-next-phase-of-the-birth-control-war-religious-discrimination-cases.html

As more states push bills to strip family planning funding from Planned Parenthoods, or relocate funding so that Planned Parenthood affiliates are last in line, other clinics that provide care to low-income and uninsured residents will be forced to shoulder the burden of reproductive health care services, especially when it comes to offering birth control.

Yet, as a case in Florida shows us, those clinics are now being drawn into the war on contraception thanks to “pro-life” medical specialists who are seeking positions within those networks with absolutely no intention of providing the full range of services the clinics were set up to offer. And sadly, refusing to hire these people won’t work as then you’d be facing a discrimination lawsuit.

The Florida Lawsuit

Sara Hellwege applied for a job at Tampa Family Health Centers (TFHC), but was turned down. According to lawyers representing Hellwege, by refusing her an interview after noting that she was a member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) and learning that she would refuse to offer hormonal contraception, TFHC has discriminated against her on the basis of her religion.

See: http://www.care2.com/causes/the-next-phase-of-the-birth-control-war-religious-discrimination-cases.html