United Nations Fund
For Population Activities
This monograph came into being as a result
of the wish of the UNFPA to respond quickly
and sensitively to the recommendations
made in the Action Plan of the International
Women's Year Conference of 1975. A task
force was appointed to study the involvement
of women in the formulation and
implementation of population projects
supported by the Fund, recommend necessary
changes in attitude and approach and to
devise lines to guide the Fund's staff at
headquarters and in the field in all matters
concerned with women, population and
The guidelines recommended by the Task
Force were so illuminating and timely that
it was decided to publish them with relevant
explanatory material in our Population
Profile series as a service to all planners and
managers of projects everywhere in the
Freedom To Choose
"Development has a human face, not a
harsh, pragmatic one. Equality does more
than contribute to development; equality is
development. Nowhere is this clearer than
in the area of development in which I
work, population, and in particular in the
matter of control over fertility. For many
women the power of decision over this one
basic function would represent a major step
(Rafael M. Salas, Executive Director of UNFPA, speak-
ing at the United Nations Internatinal Women's Year
Conference in Mexico City, June 1975).
Half of the 4,000 million population of the world today are women-
and two thirds of them live in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Their
culture, living conditions and environment are different from one con-
tinent to another and from one country to another, but they share
many political and economic disadvantages. Socially, they remain de-
pendents of men, ranging from father, uncle, brother, husband to son.
Most women have been conditioned by the family and society to want
less in life than men, to be content with service-giving types of work
and activities. Discriminatory barriers against women having choices
in life-other than marriage and motherhood-exist in almost all cul-
tures. These deeply rooted traditional attitudes limit women's opportu-
nity for self improvement and deprive human society of women's max-
imum contribution in development and in public services.
of the Workers
w e- e Brigade collect
Sweater for their
vegetable plots on
the outskirts of
In the area of population, there has been real bias against women in
demographic studies and population programmes. Census data on
women's economic activities are collected and are available in most
countries, but they are often unreliable due to varying concepts and
problems in data collection. There has been confusion as to what is
"work" and what is not. The concept of "unpaid family workers" in
general is still unclear. For example: Is home management, food pre-
paration or household cleaning considered as work of economic value
or not? Is the production and rearing of human beings as members of a
future work force considered as work of economic value? Is the weed-
ing, carrying water and fuel, caring for and feeding animals and looking
after vegetable gardens considered as having economic value or not?
Development economists have only recently begun to recognize and
analyse unpaid work that a large number of women are engaged in.
We will not have complete data on women's economic activities until
the concept of unpaid family work is fully analysed and understood.
The dilemma is that most of the woman's work either in the home or
the family farm is still not really considered as "work" by men and by
women themselves. Woman's work is commonly regarded as assistance
to the husband or effort to supplement family income. This idea is
closely linked to the definition of the "head of household". The head
of the household is believed by the majority of people to be a man; he
is the breadwinner and the one who brings the "real" money home.
This perception brings about the economic invisibility of women, and
inadequate planning for improvement and training of women in agri-
culture and trade. Most of the training that has been planned for wom-
en is in motherhood and homecraft. It is a practice among some census
enumerators to assume even when a women says she works that she is
"only" a housewife and to list her as such.
Another bias is that most fertility surveys are exclusively directed at fe-
male respondents possibly because female fertility is easier to identify
and measure than male fertility. The implication seems to be that wom-
en are the only ones who concern themselves with fertility. Data analy-
sis is prone to certain biases of its own, partially due to the bias in the
data available. People who are responsible for data analysis are mostly
men, most of whom have biases about women in one degree or anoth-
er; yet their work includes analysis of studies on female-psychic stress
over child bearing and modernization, and the effect of such stress on
fertility. Analyses of fertility are predominantly related to women be-
cause of the onesidedness of the available data. For a long time this bi-
as has also led to investment in family planning being directed mainly
or in many cases entirely at women. The male role in fertility has un-
dergone very little research and analysis and the science and technolo-
gy of male contraception is far behind that for female contraception.
In the population field the situation of women needs to be re-examined
without such bias-and in relation to food production, rural/urban
migration, employment, education, nutrition and health. Research has
found close relationships between woman's reproductive activity and
her nutrition, health and opportunity for further education. Too many
pregnancies too close to each other can decrease the level of food pro-
duction in which the majority of the women are engaged. This is why
an increase in food production has to be planned in relation to the
calendar of women's daily activities. A large part of women's daily
chores could be organized as community enterprises, which would re-
sult not only in freeing women of household burdens for more produc-
tive activities, but would also create new village or community indus-
try and new services, and thus more jobs for trained persons.
Women in Sierra
Development can damage women
Development activities have to date in a great many cases had an ad-
verse impact on women. In agriculture, food production and marketing
which are traditional areas of work for women, training has been given
to men emphasizing new techniques and modern machinery. Men and
machines therefore replace women, especially in producing cash crops,
and women are assigned the task of merely gathering the leaves or
fruits and carrying them from place to place for marketing. The socio-
economic situation of rural and urban poor women caused by lack of
appropriate technology provides evidence that technological advance-
ment, industrialization and other modernization do not really touch
their lives or provide them with either economic or social benefits. To
have begun to be
maximize the impact of development for women, especially in technol-
ogy, there is a need for far more direct contact between the selectors
and inventors of technology and the rural/urban poor, especially poor
women. Greater knowledge about their basic needs, as defined by them,
and including their choice of paths towards self advancement, would
improve the use of technology for economic and social enterprises and
would genuinely equalize development for both women and men.
Young burden-bearer in Brazil.
Industrial development may provide more paid jobs for women but of-
ten exploits them because they are admitted to work only at a low level
and in the lowest paid activities. The rapid rate of urbanization brings
about exploitation of women on an even larger scale because when
women face employment discrimination in the city, they lack even tra-
ditional work to fall back upon; many are driven to domestic service
or even prostitution to survive.
The debate on a new international economic order does not at the mo-
ment deal with the question of changes in the internal economic orders
of the developing countries. Will the fruits of successful negotiations on
commodity prices widen women's freely chosen participation, or merely
increase their workload in their multiple traditional rural roles? Will
successful negotiations allowing for industrial development and export
trade increase women's involvement in the industrial sector or will they
merely expand the exploitation of female labour in the lowest paid and
lowest status jobs-both in developing and developed countries? These
and other related questions need to be tackled, as strategies and plans
are devised to bring about economic and social changes within the
Women's rights and functions in decision-making
Research shows that there is a close relationship between types of em-
ployment and women's decision-making about fertility. Women are of-
ten put into the position where they have to choose between continuing
their job or producing children, especially when the job is in an orga-
nized setting with recorded times of arrival and departure. Women's at-
titudes towards work and job satisfaction also have tremendous influence
in planning their lives and their fertility.
Increasing emphasis is being placed on approaching fertility regulation
by making it possible for women, as individuals, to exercise their rights
in this area rather than attempting to use them (and, in essence, to try
to manipulate them) to achieve broad, macro-economic goals.
The exercise of this individual human right in fertility decision-making
to conceive, to continue or to discontinue pregnancy should go hand in
hand with the evolution of the rights of women in other spheres: to
seek paid employment outside the home, to improve skills and knowl-
edge, and to have the maximum contribution of women to the society
and to the economy fully recognized and taken into account including
their household and extra-household economic work, and their part in
political and social community decision-making.
The full exercise of these rights is as desirable as the particular econom-
ic, social and political goals they are designed to meet. From both
points of view, therefore, the role and status of women form an impor-
tant area of UNFPA activities. Progress towards the demographic goals
of many governments would be promoted by raising the status of
women and by ensuring their full participation in setting such goals,
since the development of the society implies the development and par-
ticipation of each individual within it on a basis of complete equality
with everybody else.
Women's status can be measured in terms of the control women have
over their own lives, their physical well-being and mental health and
development. In both the family and the public sphere, women's status
can be analysed in the context of their participation in decision-mak-
ing, their access to equal opportunity in education, training and em-
ployment, and their access to independent income.
Governments are urged by the 30th Session of the United Nations
General Assembly in its Resolution 3505 to facilitate the equal partici-
pation of women with men in all development efforts and, in particular,
to ensure that women have equal access to political parties, trade unions,
training, especially in agriculture, cooperatives, credit and loan systems,
as well as equal opportunities to participate in policy-making in the
economic field, in commerce and trade and in the advanced sectors of
The vegetable market has traditionally been a woman's place.
Today, the priority objective of development is to meet the basic needs
of the population-which must mean meeting effectively the needs of
poverty-level women who are among the poorest of the poor and the
most dependent of the dependents.
To meet the basic needs of rural/urban poor women does not only mean
the progressive reduction and elimination of hunger, malnutrition, un-
wanted pregnancies, sickness and ill-health, homelessness, illiteracy,
unemployment or total dependency. The basic needs of women also in-
clude active provision for them to analyse their own lives and broaden
their understanding of the political, social and economic structures and
human relationships. Full participation of women in public affairs and
development activities cannot come about until women have the means
to realize their own potential, and until they come to believe that they
can change their present living conditions by changing themselves first,
by organizing their experiences and by setting strategies and targets for
Most activities in the population field affect women, both directly and
indirectly. Census-taking-the gathering of basic data on the composi-
tion and movement of people-provides countries with vital tools in de-
velopment and population policies. Social science research and analysis
give a more complete picture, including rate and direction of migration
and the rate of urbanization, with measurable indications of its effect
on change change in family formation, pattern and lifestyle. Compre-
hensive health care and services, giving attention to both the individual
illness and the environment in which people live, bring about change
not only in the person's health but also change in the political, social
and economic structures.
Fertility regulation and family planning information and services are
assumed in most cases to benefit women quite directly. But the ques-
tion that needs to be asked is how exactly do women benefit from such
Are women treated in population and family planning programmes as
passive recipients or consumers of services and information; or are they
treated as active change agents and producers of services and infor-
Are women and men treated equally as "problem makers" in popula-
tion-equally responsible for the fast rate of population increase, as
well as "problem solvers" in designing programme policy and strategies
and in action in the population field?
Women play key
role in family
Have family planning programmes concentrated on providing informa-
tion and services to both males and females on an equal basis; or have
they concentrated only on women, implying that population growth is
the "fault" or exclusive responsibility of women and not of men?
In family planning programmes, have men as well as women been en-
couraged, on an equal basis, to behave responsibly in human sexuality
and fertility, and in enhancing their personal relationship and commu-
Have fertility regulation services been made available to young persons
of reproductive age as a human right, especially to young women,
without questioning their marital status?
Have communication and education programmes focused on looking
at the entire subject of fertility from the angle of benefit to the child and
the future generations?
Have communication and education programmes concentrated only on
the glorification of motherhood, and not equal glorification of father-
hood as a continuing shared responsibility?
Implications for the future
These questions relate very much to the bigger question of what the fu-
ture of women and men is going to be; what kind of world they are go-
ing to live in and how their roles will be adjusted in relationship to each
other to fit future living conditions. Which of the values and behaviour
patterns of the past remain relevant to the world of today and tomor-
row? We can be pessimistic and view population increase as a "popula-
tion explosion" and a burden, or we can view it optimistically as a chal-
lenge to human organization and capacity for development. We have
to realize that what we mean by the fast rate of population increase is a
transformation of society into youth, which is already the situation for
Bangladesh: Education of girls would one day be a great force for social change.
most countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. An unprecedentedly
youthful population, full of dynamism and new hope requires a com-
patible socio-economic structure, and one flexible enough to change
and usefully absorb its new energies and aspirations.
Because injustice has been done to women for so long, special focus
and attention in population and development programmes will have to
be given to women for a period of time, possibly for a decade or so.
But these special programmes for women must be exceptions and not
the rule. Overdoing special programmes for women might end up con-
firming prejudice if it does not also widen the gap of understanding be-
tween men and women. Hence, special programmes for women should
be supported only as a special measure to develop critical analysis and
self-confidence and/or to enable women to acquire special skills in mod-
ern agriculture or industry. Education should not train women only to
play supporting roles or to participate submissively in the present social
and economic structure. Education should also build up women's self-
confidence so that they will have the courage to demand and bring about
change in the present discriminatory social and economic system.
Most development planners acknowledge that they are only beginning
to understand the full implications of the changes in the population
structure, that they must attempt to adjust and re-organize the political,
economic and social structures in accordance with these changes. Some
Burmese women working on the production of prisms for use in science
countries have evolved models to achieve these adjustments. They are
trying to find ways to get young persons of both sexes to participate in
decision-making and to share in the responsibility to improve the qual-
ity of life for all. Society changes at such a fast rate that young women
and men of today will tomorrow be facing a world not only different
from the one their parents were brought into, but also totally different
from the one in which they now live. For example, there may be many
new ways of reproducing human beings-by artificial insemination, by
test-tube fertilization of a woman's ovum, or by having a child trans-
planted in her sister's or friend's womb for the normal nine-month preg-
nancy or by cloning or budding.
Perceptions are changing about the relationship between sexual inter-
course, procreation and the institution of marriage; yet many societies
today not only try to ignore this but also refuse to plan the education pro-
cess to cope with changes of attitude and behaviour and the new values
and social ethics that will come with such revolutionary changes. Parents
and teachers continue to pass on to children and youth their own archaic
values, repeating the same old answers to problems that might appear
to be of the same nature for older generations, but that in reality have
many new aspects and dimensions for the younger generation.
Technological development often has social implications, but these are
rarely understood and included in the educational process. For exam-
ple, science has now made possible the choosing of the sex of offspring
by various techniques. It is likely that in a short period of time, fool-
proof sex-selection methods will be available, possibly to everyone in
the world. But a wide variety of studies show a remarkably consistent
preference for male children in general, and for first-born males in par-
ticular. No matter what their political background, country of origin
and religious beliefs, both women and men have been conditioned to
prefer male to female children. If there has been no attempt to change
the conditioning processes and the economic and social structures that
sustain the belief in male superiority, we may see new reproduction tech-
nology creating a future society in which the majority of people will be
men, and a minority of women as second-born. The ability to choose
the sex of children, combined with habits of contraceptive use, will
change the composition of the population in many societies, and thus
change the relationship between males and females and their role in the
family and in the public sphere.
The solution for unbalanced sex composition may be in altering the
strong preference for male children.
The preference for male children is linked to how society provides equal
opportunity for women in education and employment. It is a vicious
circle and has to be tackled from all directions. Participation of women
in key decision-making at community, national and international levels
in the population and development process is vital for breaking this
vicious circle. Of every hundred more women who get equal oppor-
tunity in education and employment, equal participation in public affairs
and in decision-making positions in the family and in society, at least
two-thirds will begin to make responsible decisions as to their fer-
tility: they will begin to plan their lives for the maximum contribution
to their society and for the development of their full potentiality through
whatever form of work and contribution to social action they may
Until full participation of women in all spheres is realized, we will not
be successful in the effort to improve the quality of life for all; because
improving the quality of life for all means improving the quality of life
for the individuals, half of whom everywhere in the world are women.
These concerns and perceptions have increasingly influenced the policy
and programme of UNFPA in the past six years. While its support for
maternal and child health projects and family planning programmes has
grown steadily, it has also funded projects directly related to the
objective of improving the status and role of women. The experiences
acquired through these projects and the continuing discussions within
the Fund on women's integration in population and development
activities have brought the Fund to a point where an integrated
approach to the whole range of related issues is considered not only
logical, but necessary.
The following examples show the developing pattern of UNFPA's
support for projects emphasizing the interrelationship between fertility
behaviour and the status of women.
The project for Better Family Living which FAO is executing in several
East African countries, with UNFPA support, is designed to introduce
family planning into community-based projects which help women to
organize and improve the conditions of their family life in more
productive and useful ways. The African Training and Research Centre
for Women, which has been established by the Economic Commission
for Africa (ECA), with a view to providing better training and employ-
ment opportunities for women, also receives UNFPA support.
UNFPA funded through the United Nations a number of national
studies on the interrelationship between the conditions of women in
society, population changes, and socio-economic progress. The results
of these national studies were published under the title "Study on the
Interrelationship of the Status of Women and Family Planning".
Many of the projects supported by UNFPA in World Population Year
and later in International Women's Year were aimed at involving
women's groups and individuals in population-related activities. The
Executive Director of UNFPA, who was in charge of the preparations
for and coordination of World Population Year activities, gave special
emphasis to activities organized through women's organizations. UNFPA
gave financial support to the United Nations for several IWY activities,
and to several non-governmental organizations to hold seminars and
conferences on various aspects of the participation of women in popu-
lation and development activities. Some of these activities are mention-
UNFPA funded three regional seminars organized by the International
Alliance of Women (IAW) on "Demographic Implications of Women's
Participation in Society" held in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1972; New
Delhi, India, in 1973; Accra, Ghana, in 1974; and in Mauritius, in
May 1977. In addition, UNFPA has supported follow-up activities aimed
at encouraging and strengthening national action by women's organiza-
tions. The most recent of these activities have been undertaken by the
national affiliates of IAW in Jamaica and Guyana.
The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) organized, with UNFPA support,
several activities at regional and national levels during 1972/1976
aimed at promoting the involvement of young women in population
and development programmes. Among the more notable activities were
the regional seminars for young women in Asia, Latin America and the
Caribbean held during 1973/1974. The national activities organized by
WAY for young women consisted of specialized seminars on the role of
young women as well as special publications and audio-visual aids.
The Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) has received
UNFPA support for a project relating to leadership training for rural
women village leaders. Under this project, training programmes were
conducted in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Trinidad and Tobago, and
follow-up national programmes in these countries are now being under-
taken by ACWW affiliates.
From the time that UNFPA became involved in World Population Year
and International Women's Year activities, its information programme
has focused attention on the role of women in population and devel-
opment through its regular and special publications as well as audiovis-
Guidelines and Future Directions
In his speech at the International Women's Year Conference in Mexico,
UNFPA Executive Director Rafael M. Salas reemphasized "the impor-
tance of women in successful population policies" and announced UNFPA's
plans to strengthen its support for programmes aimed at integrating wom-
en fully into population activities. Soon after the Mexico Conference,
he appointed an internal Task Force on Women, Population and Devel-
opment to develop guidelines in this regard.
The direction and content of UNFPA-supported activities which relate
to the status and roles of women will henceforth be influenced by the
new Guidelines for programme development, project formulation, im-
plementation, and evaluation which were developed by the Task Force.
These were issued to UNFPA staff and executing agencies by the Exec-
utive Director of UNFPA in December 1976/January 1977. Designed for
use by UNFPA staff, and project managers of UNFPA-supported ac-
tivities, the Guidelines point out the policy implications of the interre-
lationship between the status and roles of women and population acti-
vities, and suggest how these implications can be translated in practice
when developing, implementing and evaluating UNFPA-supported pro-
jects. These Guidelines are not primarily intended for use in developing
special "women's projects", but are to be applied to all programmes and
projects within UNFPA's population mandate, including those that do
not have raising the status of women among their stated objectives.
These Guidelines are an effort to ensure that women are not merely re-
cipients of services but active participants in population activities and
that their special needs and requirements to achieve equal status and
choice are fully taken into account in designing, implementing and eval-
uating all UNFPA programmes and projects. This, of course, cannot be
achieved unless women have fully equal and operationally valid roles in
the decision making process of these projects and programmes at all levels.
The Guidelines set out below offer suggestions on how UNFPA activi-
ties should respond to these needs-in data collection and analysis, fam-
ily planning, information, education and communication, and training.
The full text of these Guidelines as issued to UNFPA staff and all asso-
ciated United Nations Agencies is reproduced in full:
1. POPULATION POLICY
Questions of women's condition, status and role are integral to many
aspects of development policies and programmes and should be treated
as such. Wherever possible the possibilities of approaching fertility reg-
ulation through indirect means, such as in the training of women for em-
ployment in agriculture and industry, leadership and consciousness-
raising courses, the establishment of rural cooperatives, legislation re-
garding inheritance and marriage laws, including minimum age of mar-
riage should be explored with Governments. While UNFPA would not
be able to support such activities itself, the possibility of co-funding and/
or co-programming of population components of these activities with
UNDP and other development agencies should be examined. When ap-
propriate, UNFPA staff should draw the attention of Government pol-
icy makers to internationally agreed approaches, such as the section on
"Reproduction, family formation and the status of women" in the World
Population Plan of Action and the World Plan ofAction of the Interna-
tional Women's Year Conference in Mexico City. (Programme Devel-
2.1 Programmes and projects should be based on adequate research
rather than on prejudicial assumptions. It is important to examine exis-
ting findings of national and international research. If no data exist,
projects should be phased, where possible, so that their main operational
thrust can be formulated after such data have been obtained. (Pre-pro-
2.2 An indication of how the data have influenced the formulation of
project objectives and design should be clearly stated. (Project Formu-
2.3 Basic Research involves long-term study in such areas as the rela-
tionship between population and the position of women in society; the
relationship of fertility regulation and birth planning to education and
employment, the process of gender-role conditioning in different cul-
tures; tradition and taboos about human sexuality and fertility; par-
ent and child communication on population matters; human sexuality
and fertility; and the relationship among equal participation of women,
the pattern of fertility change, and development. (Project Implementation).
2.4 Action-oriented research refers to small scale and short-term exercises
in gathering information and facts about the people and the community in
the project areas for the purpose of better planning and programming and
project formulation. (Pre-project Formulation).
3. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
3.1 Objectives of the Project
3.1.1 The Government's objectives and policies in this field should be
reviewed in order to obtain an accurate reflection of the economic and
social realities of women as well as men. Data should include, where
possible, those aspects which are not normally included in the compu-
tation of GNP, such as unpaid household work or unpaid agricultural
work performed by women.
It is recognized that no methodology currently exists which can accu-
rately measure women's contribution to the economy. Nevertheless,
census questions and instructions to enumerators dealing with econom-
ic activity should attempt to include the economic activities of women.
3.2 Content of Project Activities
3.2.1 The Government should be encouraged, to the extent possible,
to initiate special surveys of women in order to identify the particular
needs of women and in order to more fully integrate them into develop-
ment activities. (Pre-project Formulation).
3.2.2 Data collection and surveys relevant to women (e.g., communi-
ty surveys and time-budget analyses) should, where possible, be linked
with those undertaken to develop population policies and programmes.
Data on women and on population matters in general should be incor-
porated into the analysis of other development data in order to facilitate
the participation of women in development planning and activities.
3.2.3 In regard to census projects, it is important to ensure, where
possible, that items of particular concern to women are included, such
as female literacy, age at marriage, duration of marraige, children born
alive, children living, family composition, types of activities and occu-
pation. Some of these items are in the recommended list of United Na-
tions Census Recommendations but may not always be adopted by coun-
tries. Other items are only listed as "other useful topics" and therefore can
even more easily be ignored. (Project Implementation).
3.2.5 Demographic surveys which might comprise or include commu-
nity and household surveys should be screened to ascertain the criteria
under which women may be counted as heads of families and as com-
munity leaders. Sex-based stereo-types that appear in the questionnaire
and instructions to interviewers that may tend to prejudice the results
should be avoided. (Project Implementation).
3.2.6 If the project studies migration patterns, the demographic, eco-
nomic and social effects of migration on women should be included,
where possible. (Project Formulation and Implementation).
3.3 Implementation of Projects
3.3.1 The employment of women in project activities serves a double
function. It is not only important for its own sake, but can also lead to
greater project effectiveness (for example, women interviewing other
women on sensitive issues).
3.3.2 Qualified women should be hired on the same basis as qualified
men, in particular at higher levels, i.e.:
-planning / administration
-processing and analysis of data
-other (Project Implementation)
3.3.3 The barriers to employing women in any of the capacities men-
tioned, especially at the higher levels, should be examined. (Project Im-
3.3.4 The employment pool from which labour is drawn should be
analysed to find out whether it includes qualified women and, if not,
whether and how they might be identified elsewhere. Relevant agencies
should be advised on the types of skills and education required for popu-
lation programmes and projects so that more qualified women might
be employed in the longer term. (Project Implementation).
3.4 Impact Evaluation
3.4.1 The data collection exercise should be analysed in terms of how
the greater involvement of women and more recognition of the role and
status of women in the project has added to the value of the project. For
example, the involvement of women might widen the scope of a survey
and avoid biases which would increase the representativeness of a sur-
vey and the validity of the data (Project Evaluation).
3.4.2 The employment of women in the project and the impact of such
employment on their status in the family and the community should be
analysed, where possible. (Project Evaluation).
4. INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (IEC)
4.1 Action Oriented Research
4.1.1 Before IEC programmes and projects are designed and where rele-
vant information is not readily available, modest study and data col-
lecting exercises should be conducted in order to identify the target au-
dience's living conditions, economic activities and beliefs and attitudes
towards individual family and community development, including fer-
tility decisions. In communication planning and programming-espe-
cially when the objectives of the programme or project include the chang-
ing of fertility patterns, it is imperative to ascertain the factors that af-
fect the attitudes and behaviour particularly of women. (Pre-project Form-
4.1.2 Research should also focus on how the conditioning process of fe-
male and male roles operates, and the way it affects children and society
in general. (Pre-project Formulation).
4.1.3 Studies should be undertaken of the traditional roles of men and
women in parenthood to point toward the possibility of an increased
sharing of household and nurturing functions between men and women.
4.1.4 Traditional taboos and beliefs on human sexuality and fertility
should be studied to see how they relate to behavioral change, espe-
cially fertility decision-making. (Pre-project Formulation).
4.1.5 Which available or potential communication media and channels
(both traditional and modem) in the country can best reach women should
be analysed. (Pre-project Formulation).
4.1.6 If the data-gathering is carried out prior to project formulation,
a clear indication should be given as to how the findings have influenced
the project objectives and design. If the data-gathering is carried out dur-
ing the project, a clear indication should be given as to how the findings
have influenced any re-formulation of project objectives and design.
(Pre-project Formulation; Project Implementation).
4.2 Objectives of the Project
4.2.1 Government policies and objectives regarding population IEC
should be reviewed. The possibility of advising the Government to en-
courage women to have equal access to the use of the media as well as
to the resultant information and messages should be ascertained.
4.3 Content of IEC Materials and Programmes
4.3.1 Within current realities, printed and audio-visual materials should
be designed to emphasize the contribution which women can and do make
to society aside from their roles as wives and mothers. Care should be
taken to avoid reinforcing stereotyped images of women in programmes
and materials. These images tend to encourage both women and men
to view women's role in child-bearing or as decorative objects as the
major sources of status for women, and to leave men out of the nurturing
role in regard to upbringing of children. In general, materials should re-
spect the human rights and the dignity of both men and women, portray-
ing them as having a multiplicity of roles and functions according to their
abilities and capacities. (Project Implementation).
4.3.2 Within current realities, programmes and materials should por-
tray women as equally active and able to perform leadership functions
in the community and society no less than men, in order to encourage
women to take initiatives and an active interest in affairs outside the
home and to widen their life-options beyond motherhood. (Project
4.3.3 Within current realities, materials should portray women as well as
men as active and responsible members of the family and community,
equal partners in the sexual relationship and equally able to be knowledge-
able about the relationship between their fertility decisions and population
trends and development efforts. (Project Implementation).
4.3.4 Programmes and materials should be designed to motivate pub-
lic opinion to ensure the active participation of both men and women
in all aspects of community and national development, rather than focus-
ing on women's contribution simply through the "traditional" women's
roles. (Project Implementation).
4.3.5 Programmes and materials should stress the equal value of chil-
dren of both sexes. In most societies this will require more emphasis on
the value of female children. (Project Implementation).
4.3.6 IEC Services should be provided equally for women and men.
Development communications and population education, as well as in-
formation about contraceptive methods and family planning services,
should be provided for all people inside and outside of the school and
education system. Special attention should be paid to the use of IEC ser-
vices outside of school at the community level, since in many developing
countries the majority of the women are left out of most formal educa-
tion at the secondary and more advanced levels. (Project Formulation
4.5 Implementation of IEC Project Activities
4.5.1 Equal opportunities for the employment of qualified women in
IEC research, planning, designing and production of materials and pro-
grammes and in administrative and leadership positions in the IEC in-
fracstructure should be provided. (Project Implementation).
4.5.2 Constraints regarding the use of women in functions in the above-
mentioned programmes and projects should be identified. If the major
constraint is lack of qualified women, women should be ensured equal
access to training in IEC at all levels-planning, administration, com-
munication technology and evaluation. (Project Implementation).
4.5.3 Because of the overwhelming predominance of men in all com-
munications media, the possibility of developing a project especially for
the training of women in all spheres of population communication should
be examined as a special measure to equalize their access to the manage-
ment, use of and benefit from IEC activities. (Project Formulation).
4.6 Impact Evaluation
4.6.1 The level of involvement of women in IEC programmes and pro-
jects, should be reviewed, i.e., are they passive recipients of informa-
tion and messages, or also active participants in programme and mater-
ial design and production? (Project Evaluation).
4.6.2 The extent to which women themselves make use of communi-
cation media to express their own personal opinions and feelings about
development in general and fertility regulation in particular should be
examined. (Project Evaluation).
4.6.3. As far as possible, the question of whether and how IEC pro-
grammes have helped to improve and equalize women's position in the
family and society and have reduced the rigidity and determinism of male
and female roles should be assessed. (Project Evaluation).
4.7 Integration of Population Communication in regard to Women
with Other Development Communication
4.7.1 It is important that population IEC programmes and projects reach-
ing women be linked with other development communication programmes
and projects, especially in industry, agriculture, finance, cooperatives
and marketing. Communications and education programmes in the field
of nutrition, health and education should also be planned together with
population and fertility regulation programmes for women. (Project For-
mulation and Implementation).
5. FERTILITY REGULATION AND FAMILY PLANNING
5.1 Action-oriented Research
5.1.1 The main economic, social, psychological, cultural and demo-
graphic characteristics of the key groups of people in the project area
should be identified. This is already done in varying degrees when a pro-
ject request is formulated, but special attention should be paid to these
characteristics as they apply to women. (Pre-project Formulation).
5.1.2 Official Government policy on the status of women should be
reviewed, particularly to ascertain whether it already recognizes the two-
way relationship between the status of women and family planning or
fertility regulation. (Pre-project Formulation).
5.1.3 The activities of formal and informal women's associations and
networks should be researched with a view towards examining possibil-
ities for involving them in delivering family planning information and
services. This is one way to treat women as an active family planning
constituency rather than only as recipients of services. (Pre-project For-
5.1.4 Male and female attitudes towards their roles in fertility decision-
making and contraceptive use, including vasectomy or sterilization, should
be reviewed. (Pre-project Formulation).
5.2 Objectives of the Project
5.2.1 The objective of fertility regulation should not be exclusively for
demographic ends but should also encompass the objective of freeing
women from unwanted pregnancies m order to improve the health and
welfare of mothers and children. Good health is a prerequisite for the
exercise of any options open to women in order that they may partici-
pate equally in the economic and social and political life of a society.
The possibility of incorporating an explicit reference in the stated ob-
jectives of the project regarding the necessity of raising the status of women
and diversifying their roles should be examined. (Project Formulation).
5.3 Content of Project Activities
5.3.1 The success of family planning programmes may depend largely
on the quality of the counselling services provided. Counselling, there-
fore, should be carried out with the utmost care. Assessment of the qual-
ity of counselling should be obtained, where possible, by such methods
as direct observation in clinics, interviewing women who have ceased
to practice contraception, assessment of waiting time to obtain service,
type and length of training for counsellors. Such an assessment may
form an aspect of a programme review or evaluation. For example, re-
search has demonstrated that women, no less than men, often prefer
counselling in a private setting. In these cases, counselling at home or
in a multi-purpose facility, rather than in a one-purpose facility would
be appropriate. (Project Formulation and Implementation).
5.3.2 Community-based counselling by "change agents" and by peers
is an important means of ensuring that the women are well-informed on
the relative merits and demerits of each contraceptive method, including
sterilization (assuming that more than one method is available) in order
to dispel prejudices, to ensure trust and to offer real choice. (Project
5.3.3 It is important to ensure that advice and information is not re-
stricted purely to the medical aspects of contraception but also includes
the psychological and social ramifications as well. (Project Implementa-
5.3.4 If women find various methods of contraception unacceptable,
either physically or psychologically, they should not be dismissed as ir-
rational but should receive patient and sympathetic attention. This guide-
line applies no less to men who may be concerned with the question of
vasectomy. (Project Implementation).
5.3.5 Counselling should stress that the family and community responsi-
bility for contraception should not be left to women alone but should
be shared jointly between men and women. (Project Implementation).
5.3.6 It is important that the development of health services (includ-
ing family planning) should not exclude those (often women) tradition-
ally responsible for health, childbirth and traditional forms of contra-
ception, since they often have a better rapport with the local community.
The possibility of the training of such traditional health workers and/
or traditional birth attendants so that they can participate in family
planning programmes should be examined. (Project Formulation and
5.3.7 As far as Government attitudes permit, it should be seen that
family planning information and services are available to all people of
reproductive age. (Project Formulation and Implementation).
5.3.8 In view of the incidence of high infant and maternal mortality
and of limited resources, it is obvious that the primary target group of
many family planning programmes rightly is and should be that parti-
cular group of women subject to high-risk pregnancies. However, where
circumstances permit, advice should be given to include as an addition-
al group for special focus, women before their first pregnancy, since
studies have shown that control over and delay of first pregnancy prob-
ably opens up more options to women than does control over any subse-
quent pregnancies. (Project Formulation and Implementation).
5.3.9 Delivery of family planning services through local women's net-
works and associations (both formal and informal) should be encour-
aged, wherever possible. Studies have shown that use of such alterna-
tive delivery systems improves the quality of the services provided and
has the fringe benefit of strengthening the organizational skills of wom-
en, which could then also be harnessed for other development activi-
ties. (Project Formulation and Implementation).
5.4.1 Qualified women should be employed in family planning pro-
grammes at all levels on an equal basis with qualified men, especially
at the planning and policy levels of family planning programmes and
projects. The pattern in many national family planning programmes is
that men occupy most of the policy making and other high level posi-
tions and the women work at the level of nurse/midwives and medical
auxiliaries and health visitors. In order to change this pattern, men should,
where possible, be hired also at the implementation level and women at the
policy making level. (see 3.3. and 4.5) (Project Implementation).
5.5 Impact Evaluation
5.5.1 Impact evaluation should, wherever possible, be built into the
project. This can be ensured by constituting evaluation as a specific pro-
ject activity and making provision for the collection of base-line data.
5.5.2 By means of such an evaluation, the measurement of how birth-
planning affects women should be considered in, for example:
their daily activities and employment opportunities, especially
in developmental work, both inside and outside the home;
opportunities for training for self-reliance;
their health, as an individual human right, and recognition of this
by the women themselves, men and the community at large.
5.6 Integration of Family Planning into Development
5.6.1 Wherever possible, the possibilities of approaching fertility reg-
ulation through indirect means should be raised with the government,
such as in the training of women for employment in agriculture and in-
dustry, leadership and consciousness-raising courses, the establishment
of rural co-operatives, legislation regarding inheritance and marriage
laws, including minimum age for marriage. While UNFPA itself would
not be able to support such activities, the possibility of co-funding or
co-programming population components of these activities with UNDP
and other development agencies should be examined. (Project Formula-
6.1 Action-Oriented Research
6.1.1 Wherever possible, pre-operation research should be carried out to
ascertain which are the most needed types of training for women that
would be of use to the population or family planning programme. (Pre-
6.2 Objectives of the Project
6.2.1 Wherever possible, equality for women in training programmes
in population and family planning fields should be ensured. This applies
also to fellowships. (Project Formulation and Implementation).
6.2.2 Any constraints against training women should be identified.
Where the constraint is the lack of women with basic skills who would
be able to benefit from training, this should be brought to the attention
of the competent educational agencies with a view towards a long-term
solution. (Project Implementation).
6.3 Content of Training
6.3.1 Wherever possible, men and women should be trained equally in
substantive areas. For example, the situation should be avoided in which
women exclusively are taught home economics while men exclusively
are taught management techniques. As far as possible, women should
be trained in organization, management and technical skills, and vice
versa for men. (Project Formulation and Implementation).
6.3.2 Training materials should be reviewed to see whether they rein-
force sex-stereotyped roles and thereby reinforce the principle stated
above in 6.2.1 (Project Implementation and Evaluation).
6.4 Implementation of Projects
6.4.1 Qualified women should be employed in training programmes on
an equal basis with qualified men-especially as trainers, planners and
administrators of training programmes. (Project Formulation and Im-
6.5 Impact Evaluation
6.5.1 Wherever possible, impact evaluation (as part of the project)
should be carried out to assess the value of the training given to wom-
en, from the point of view of greater programme effectiveness as well
as the associated benefits of training women for the community at large
and for the enhancement of women's status. (Project Evaluation).
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