State of World Population

1564-8567 (online)
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The State of World Population is an annual report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Each edition covers and analyses developments and trends in world population and demographics, as well as shedding a light on specific regions, countries and population groups and the unique challenges they face.

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State of World Population 2008

State of World Population 2008

Reaching Common Ground - Culture, Gender and Human Rights You or your institution have access to this content

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12 Nov 2008
9789210603492 (PDF)

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The State of World Population 2008 demonstrates that an appreciation for cultures and values is a critical but sometimes overlooked aspect of successful development strategies. It shows how culture can strengthen and validate human rights perspectives and enable their broader acceptance, ownership and realization. The report argues that synergy between the global human rights agenda and cultural aims can help advance the Millennium Development Goals and contribute to ending extreme poverty.

Also available in Spanish, French, Russian
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  • Overview

    Culture is and always has been central to development. As a natural and fundamental dimension of people’s lives, culture must be integrated into development policy and programming. This report shows how this process works in practice.

  • Negotiating culture: An introduction

    The implementation of the recommendations contained in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development is the sovereign right of each country, consistent with national laws and development priorities, with full respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of its people, and in conformity with universally recognized international human rights.

  • Negotiating culture: Building support for human rights

    Legitimating human rights in local cultures and religious traditions is a matter of vital importance for the survival and future development of the human rights paradigm itself.

  • Negotiating culture: Promoting gender equality and empowering women

    Cultures are neither static nor monolithic…. They adapt to new opportunities and challenges and evolving realities. What is seen as “the culture” may in fact be a viewpoint held by a small group of elites keen to hold onto their power and status. The tensions and diverging goals inherent in every culture create opportunities for UNFPA to promote human rights and gender equality, particularly when UNFPA can partner with local agents of social change and challenge dominant views from within the same cultural frame of reference.

  • Negotiating culture: Reproductive health and reproductive rights

    Reproductive rights … derive from the recognition of the basic right of all individuals and couples to make decisions about reproduction free from discrimination, coercion or violence. They include the right to the highest standard of health and the right to determine the number, timing and spacing of children. They comprise the right to safe child-bearing, and the right of all individuals to protect themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

  • Negotiating culture: Poverty, inequality and population

    Sustainable development decreases poverty and inequality and promotes socioeconomic inclusion for all groups. Unequal distribution of the products of economic growth increases both the extent and the depth of poverty. Poverty and inequality limit access to resources and opportunities. In this reality, cultural components such as family relationships, patterns of human activity, coping strategies and prescribed and unsanctioned behaviours are important and consistent features. Poor health and low levels of education make it more difficult to translate additional income into improved well-being, preventing people from establishing or reaching personal goals.

  • Negotiating culture: Gender and Reproductive health in conflict situations

    Since the end of the Cold War, most armed conflicts have been within rather than between States. Between 1998 and 2007, there were 34 major armed conflicts – all but three internal – and about four times that many armed conflicts in total. Far more civilians than soldiers become casualties in these conflicts, many of them women and girls.

  • Negotiating culture: Some conclusions

    The starting point of this report is the universal validity and application of the international human rights framework. Understanding how values, practices and beliefs affect human behaviour is fundamental to the design of effective programmes that help people and nations realize human rights. Nowhere is this understanding more important than in the area of power relations between men and women and their impact on reproductive health and rights. Development practice is firmly located at this nexus of culture, gender relations and human rights. It is from this point that creative and sustainable interventions emerge.

  • Notes and indicators
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