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Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Lesotho? A gender perspective

Though important gender gaps persist in a number of critical areas, the experience of Lesotho highlights that the political resolve to promote gender equality is not, and should not be, a monopoly of high-income countries. Even those countries qualified as least developed countries (LDCs) can ambitiously adopt and implement strategies and policies aimed at reducing gender-based disparities. The Lesotho case study highlights the multifaceted relationship between trade policy on the one hand, structural changes and productive transformation on the other, and their repercussions on patterns of employment for men and women. In particular, the rise – and subsequent relative decline – of Lesotho as a major apparel exporter to the United States illustrates clearly the strong correlation between trade policy, structural change in the economy, and shifting gender patterns.

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The fisheries sector in the Gambia: trade, value addition and social inclusiveness, with a focus on women

This analytical report - part of UNCTAD’s activities on trade, gender and development - is intended to accompany the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) Update for 'The Gambia: Harnessing Trade for Growth and Employment', carried out under the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) for trade-related assistance for Least Developed Countries. It sets out a detailed analysis of the fisheries sector and its prospects for value-addition and social inclusiveness, with a focus on women. The intention is to capture all the information generated through the DTIS Update process, and disseminate this knowledge to a broader audience.

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Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Angola? A gender perspective

The study seeks to explore the impacts of Angola's integration into the world economy mainly as an oil exporter, and in particular, to analyse whether there is a gender bias in the effects of trade. The findings suggest that the extractive nature of Angola's economy has significantly constrained its diversification potential, and has limited the development of productive activities that could absorb the female workforce and provide women with decent incomes. Moreover, a defining characteristic of the Angolan labour market is the size of the informal sector, which is proportionately one of the largest in the developing world. This sector provides the main occupation for 70 per cent of the female population in the country. This UNCTAD study takes a close look at the role of women in Angola's economy and society as it attempts to answer the following questions: What strategies could be put in place to address the potential exclusionary effects of Angola's trade liberalization? How can women take advantage of the positive spillovers from Angola's extractive economy and ultimately benefit from trade? What kind of sectoral policies can be promoted in order to generate new opportunities for women and have them benefit more from the booming economy?

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Technology in action: good practices in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies for women in South Asia

The publication is focused on policies and initiatives carried out in countries in South Asia that show how Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) can help the condition of women in this region. Focusing the analysis on regional levels allows for the consideration of existing commonalities across countries in different geographical regions in relation to gender equality and the different circumstances across and within countries. This report was elaborated based on a comprehensive analysis of secondary literature on programmes and policies on gender, STI and other sectors conducted in the region by local governments in collaboration with international agencies and other organizations. The experiences presented in this report show that STI policies usually contribute to improving the livelihoods of women and enhancing gender equality through the following mechanisms: introducing and diffusing technological and scientific developments that improve the life of women; creating and strengthening, both directly and indirectly, capacities related to STI; and introducing financial innovations such as microcredit and related skills for entrepreneurs.

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Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Uruguay? A gender perspective

This report aims to assess the implications of Uruguay’s productive transformation, trade liberalization, and regional trade integration on women, especially in terms of their access to employment. The report encourages the reader to take into account the complexities of the trade and gender link and its numerous, and sometimes hidden, connections with the micro and macro components of economic and development processes. The research also highlights that Uruguay’s legal framework as well as social norms and stereotypes contribute to the role that women play in the labour market and society. The long-term approach of the study, covering three decades of economic and social reforms, provides the basis for anticipating the role that the female workforce may play in Uruguay in the decades ahead.

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Enhancing the contribution of Export Processing Zones to the Sustainable Development Goals

This exploratory report suggests that changes taking place in the global market mean that Export Processing Zones (EPZs), and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) more generally, can be restructured as centres of excellence for sustainable development. Such restructuring would increase the appeal of EPZs to multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their suppliers, while simultaneously contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as 'Global Goals'.

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Making trade work for Least Developed Countries: a handbook on mainstreaming trade

Least developed countries (LDCs) have very high trade-to-GDP ratios, reflecting the fact that they are heavily dependent on trade. Over the past few decades, they have also embarked upon significant trade reforms. Although LDCs had relatively high economic growth during the past decade, unemployment, poverty, and inequality continue to be major development challenges in these countries. Against this backdrop, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) developed a project to strengthen the capacity of trade and planning ministries of selected LDCs to develop and implement trade strategies conducive to poverty reduction. The project was funded by the UN Development Account for the period 2013–2015 and had six LDCs as beneficiaries: Ethiopia, Lesotho, and Senegal in Africa, and Bhutan, Kiribati, and Lao PDR in Asia and the Pacific. As part of the project, national workshops on the trade policymaking and trade main-streaming experiences of the beneficiary countries were organized by UNCTAD in collaboration with the governments involved and partner organizations. Two regional workshops were also organized: one on Africa and one on Asia and the Pacific. This handbook is the outcome of the workshops and research conducted under the project. It draws lessons from the experiences of the six countries that participated and provides fresh insights on how to design and implement an effective trade strategy in LDCs. It also provides clarity on the concept of main-streaming trade and identifies criteria on how to measure success in this endeavour. The handbook should be useful to policymakers in developing countries, development analysts, academics, and students of development. In this regard, it is meant to be a guide to policy formulation and implementation in LDCs, with the understanding that its application will vary from country to country because of differences in economic structure, history, and social and political realities.

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Commodities and Development Report 2015: smallholder farmers and sustainable commodity development

The report highlights the range of constraints that smallholder farmers face in developing economies and specifically provides new analyses of the state of their integration into the global economy. It underlines that smallholder farmers are both victims of climate change and key actors in the achievement of a more inclusive and environmentally friendly development path. The report argues for specific measures at the national, regional and global levels, including in international trade and investment agreements, for unleashing the full business potential of smallholders. It showcases good policy practices, including the role of strong political leadership in reversing the policy neglect that small farmers have suffered from. "Business as usual" is not an option if the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to be achieved. In light of this, the report calls for greater resources to be devoted to supporting smallholders. And finally, the report also urges for the establishment of an accountability mechanism for monitoring progress on key commitments related to smallholders on trade, investment, finance and technology.

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Trade and Development Report (TDR) 2016: structural transformation for inclusive and sustained growth

This report reviews recent trends in the global economy and focuses on the policies needed to foster structural transformation. It identifies some of the critical issues to be addressed in order to set in place structural transformation processes.

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Multisectoral action framework for malaria

Malaria is both a result and a cause of a lack of development. The malaria burden is highest in the countries with the lowest human development, within countries in the least developed and poorest areas, and within populations among the most disadvantaged. The Multi sectoral Action Framework for Malaria adds this development dimension, by making actions outside the health sector essential components of malaria control. The Framework unites all efforts and builds on positive experiences, past and present. The Framework calls for action at several levels and in multiple sectors, globally and across inter- and intra-national boundaries, and by different organizations. It emphasizes complementarity, effectiveness and sustainability, and capitalizes on the potential synergies to accelerate both socio-economic development and malaria control. It involves new interventions as well as putting new life into those that already exist, and coordinates and manages these in new and innovative ways. The Framework acknowledges that malaria takes different shapes in different contexts and that no single blueprint for action would fit in all circumstances. The Framework encourages innovation, trying and learning. The Framework analyses the social and environmental determinants of malaria at four levels: society, environment, population group, and household and individual. The conclusion of the analysis is that the current strategies for malaria control need to be continued, but that they alone are unlikely to lead to sustained control and elimination in the countries with the highest malaria burden. They need to be complemented with a developmental approach, addressing key social and environmental determinants. The Framework proposes what these determinants are and which sectors should be involved. It provides examples of implementation in countries, as well as a simple tool for action planning.

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The global strategy for women's, children's and adolescents' health (2016-2030)

Today we have both the knowledge and the opportunity to end preventable deaths among all women, children and adolescents, to greatly improve their health and well-being and to bring about the transformative change needed to shape a more prosperous and sustainable future. That is the ambition of this 'Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health'. The previous Global Strategy achieved great things between 2010 and 2015. It galvanized political leadership, attracted billions of dollars in new financial commitments and created 'Every Woman Every Child', a powerful multi-stakeholder movement for health. However, far too many women, children and adolescents worldwide still have little or no access to essential, good-quality health services and education, clean air and water, adequate sanitation and good nutrition. This updated 'Global Strategy', spanning the 15 years of the SDGs, provides guidance to accelerate momentum for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health.

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Population dynamics in the LDCs: challenges and opportunities for development and poverty reduction

This report, prepared for the 2011 UN Conference on Least Developed Countries, outlines major population dynamics in LDCs and addresses their implications for development and poverty reduction. It identifies five areas of intervention that can help countries anticipate, shape and plan for changes in their population. These areas include: focusing investments on adolescents and youth; increasing access to sexual and reproductive health care and empowering women; strengthening capacity to integrate population dynamics in the framework of sustainable development; linking population to climate change; and effectively utilizing data in public policy and development. According to the latest survey of the United Nations Population Division, about three-quarters of the governments of LDCs are concerned with major demographic shifts projected to impact them: high fertility, high population growth and rapid urbanization.

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Initiating the multi-stakeholder joint programme on violence against women

This compendium documents the key processes involved in initiating multi-stakeholder joint programming on violence against women. It culls interim lessons from 10 pilot countries. The report provides a pragmatic overview of using joint programming as an approach to maximize results and sustainability. It provides guidance for in-country stakeholders (UNCTs, government and civil society) that are commencing similar multi-stakeholder joint programmes in countries globally. It includes step-by-step guidance on components of successful joint programming, from conducting baseline assessments to final monitoring and evaluation.

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Why is son preference declining in the Republic of Korea?

For years, the Republic of Korea presented the puzzling phenomenon of steeply rising sex ratios at birth despite rapid development, including in women’s education and formal employment. This paper shows that son preference decreased in response to development, but its manifestation continued until the mid-1990s due to improved sex-selection technology. The paper analyses unusually rich survey data, and finds that the impact of development worked largely through triggering normative changes across the whole society — rather than just through changes in individuals as their socio-economic circumstances changed. The findings show that nearly three-quarters of the decline in son preference between 1991 and 2003 is attributable to normative change, and the rest to increases in the proportions of urban and educated people. South Korea is now the first Asian country to reverse the trend in rising sex ratios at birth. The paper discusses the cultural underpinnings of son preference in pre-industrial Korea, and how these were unravelled by industrialization and urbanization, while being buttressed by public policies upholding the patriarchal family system. Finally, the authors hypothesize that child sex ratios in China and India will decline well before they reach South Korean levels of development, since they have vigorous programs to accelerate normative change to reduce son preference.

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Socio-cultural influences on the reproductive health of migrant women: A review of literature in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam

This paper is an overview of the analysis presented in a series of four literature reviews that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) commissioned to identify sociocultural factors that affect the sexual and reproductive health of female migrants. The reviews encompassed looking at research, study reports and other available documents, mainly from the past decade, on internal migrants in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam, and international migrants from Myanmar in Thailand. The reviews were premised on the assumption that socio-cultural factors impact on the potential of female migrants to access sexual and reproductive health information and services and protection from violence. The consultants sought to identify factors enabling access to information and services, as well as examples of good intervention models that might be replicated or scaled up. Potential barriers to access of reproductive health services by female migrants were also described.

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Study on traditional beliefs and practices regarding maternal and child health in Yunnan, Guizhou, Qinghai and Tibet

The study was undertaken in the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan, Qinghai and Tibet and considered the cultural beliefs and practices of selected representatives of six ethnic minority groups - Miao, Dong, Jingpo, Dai, Hui and Tibetans - in relation to key aspects of maternal and child health. It was designed to identify enabling factors that contribute to the uptake of MCH services, as well as any harmful traditional practices or other barriers that impede maternal and child health and utilization of related services. Information was gathered in relation to religious and traditional beliefs and practices in general, as well as attitudes, beliefs and practices in relation to health and nutrition of pregnant women and children. The research team was tasked to identify and highlight specific practices, beliefs or attitudes – from either demand or supply side - which could be targeted in MCH guidelines, policy and service delivery, in order to enhance access to and utilization of MCH services, thus contributing to improved health targets.

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Sex imbalances at birth: current trends, consequences and policy implications

This report offers an updated review of the various facets and the latest trends and differentials in sex selection in Asia. It includes a set of recommendations to combat gender discrimination and prenatal sex selection at the national and regional level. Education, urbanization and economic development have significantly improved opportunities for Asian women and girls over the last two decades. Yet, this has coincided with a fall in the proportion of girls among children in many countries. The decline, caused to a large extent by an increase in prenatal sex selection in the past 20 years, is leading to an alarming demographic masculinization. This intensifying gender imbalance will have an adverse impact at many levels on men, women and families over the next half century.

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Implementation of the international and regional human rights framework for the elimination of female genital mutilation

A human rights approach to FGM places the practice within a broader social justice agenda — one that emphasizes the responsibilities of governments to ensure realization of the full spectrum of women’s and girls’ rights. In order to place FGM within a human rights framework, it is critical to know more about human rights law. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the dearth of literature focusing on the gross violation of human rights through the practice of FGM. It also addresses the corresponding duties of governments under international human rights law.

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Mobilising men in practice: challenging sexual and gender-based violence in institutional settings

Men need to be involved in reflective, in-depth discussions and comprehensive campaigns focused on ending violence against women. This report documents the work of one such effort, the Mobilising Men initiative, led by the Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex in Britain) with support from UNFPA. Through partnerships with civil society groups in India, Kenya and Uganda beginning in 2009, the initiative trained men to be team activists in seeking gender balances. By immersing the participants in a programme of dialogue and action that challenge the inherent nature of male privileges and power structures in society – government, academia and workplace – the men learned a lot about themselves and how they can begin to address inequities. By providing step-by-step tools, discussion topics and stories about the Mobilising Men participants, the publication acts as a guide for activists to instil change in institutions that impede women’s progress through both subtle and obvious barriers.

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Impacts of population dynamics reproductive health and gender on poverty

How do the many the different components of the UNFPA mandate contribute to poverty reduction? This publication analyses this question in detail, looking at both the micro level (impacts on individuals and households) and the larger picture. The document concludes that the strength of UNFPA's contribution to poverty reduction resides in the complementarity of different interventions and the synergies by which population dynamics, gender equality and reproductive health work together to reduce poverty.

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Adolescent boys and young men: engaging them as supporters of gender equality and health and understanding their vulnerabilities

Achieving gender equality must, and has, involved efforts to understand the vulnerabilities and risks that adolescent girls and young women face every day – but how much do we know about the realities of adolescent boys and young men? This report takes a deeper look at the daily lives of adolescent boys and young men around the world and at how they can join the movement towards improved health and gender equality. Exploring global research, the report reveals boys’ and young men’s specific risks and realities in relation to health in general, sexual and reproductive health in particular, sexuality, media violence, sexual exploitation and other vulnerabilities. It analyses the implications of these risks and realities not only for boys, but also on the lives of women and girls. Adolescence is a key period where individuals of all gender identities form attitudes, opinions and beliefs – about themselves, about their sexuality and about their place in the world. It is a period when ideas about equality can become ingrained. The study emphasizes that a holistic approach to advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health must include both adolescent girls and boys. It highlights the need to engage adolescent boys and young men as allies to achieve gender equality and as supporters of women’s empowerment, as well as the importance of addressing the specific health and social development needs of boys themselves.

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Religion, women's health and rights: points of contention and paths of opportunities

This report looks at the religious arguments around some of the most sensitive and contentious SRH-related issues, from the perspective of the major faith traditions of this world. These issues range from contraception to abortion to GBV to Child Marriage. Far from merely listing the 'religious objections' to be found in the 5 main religions of the world (Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam), this Report then goes on to elaborate the alternative, faith-based lived realities, interpretations and actions which support the sexual and reproductive rights in question.

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Realizing the faith dividend: religion, gender, peace and security in Agenda 2030

The UN Secretary General is on record as ​speaking to the importance of faith-based organizations in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, noting that ​they​ have a role to play​ in ​his​ policy of developing transformative multi-stakeholder partnerships over the coming five years.​ UNFPA is one of the oldest UN specialised agencies to engage with faith-based actors, convening them at the national, regional and global levels, since the Millennium. ​In 2010, UNFPA co-founded and chaired the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Engaging with Faith-Based actors. Since then, this UN Task Force has annually convened these faith-based partners for a series of policy dialogues, together with donor governments, academics, development and humanitarian specialists from diverse regions and religions, around diverse human rights, development and peace and security-related issues. This report focuses on the role of religious actors, and religious considerations in the SDG agenda, particularly as they pertain to gender equality, peaceful coexistence and security considerations. The perspectives, ideas and initiatives discussed in these pages bring together experiences and policy analysis shared from the different realities of donors, UN agencies and Faith-Based NGOs. The richness of these narratives both build on and inform current policy formulations which are required at a time when religion is often seen too flippantly as a 'problem' by secular institutions which also have a legacy of partnerships as yet under appreciated.

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Adolescent girls in disaster & conflict: interventions for improving access to sexual and reproductive health services

Millions of adolescent girls are in need of humanitarian assistance. A crisis heightens their vulnerability to gender-based violence, unwanted pregnancy, HIV infection, maternal death and disability, early and forced marriage, rape, trafficking, and sexual exploitation and abuse. In emergencies, adolescent girls need tailored programming to increase their access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, and to protect them from gender-based violence. From safe spaces to mobile clinics to youth participation, UNFPA uses different approaches to reach displaced, uprooted and crisis-affected adolescent girls at a critical time in their young lives. This publication features new case studies on reaching adolescent girls in humanitarian situations from programmes in Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Somalia.

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Establishing a workable follow-up and review process for the Sustainable Development Goals

The Open Working Group document proposes that governments will set its own national targets. They will be guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. To make the Post-2015 agenda actionable, much more thought needs to be given to the process of target-setting, different actors’ responsibilities, implementation and accountability.

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