ICPD 10 years on

Posted: 8 October 2004

TVE has made two programmes, broadcast on BBC World in October 2004, assessing progress 10 years after the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

Balancing Acts

Hina Iqbal
Hina Iqbal
TVE
In Pakistan, seventeen-year-old Hina is challenging tradition to complete her education. In Afghanistan, returning refugees like Maa Gul want the government to honour their right to shelter. In Kenya, Rose - who's HIV-positive - is championing widows' rights to independence. And in Nigeria, market trader Tematayo is demanding the government acknowledge her worth as a successful businesswoman. Hina, Maa Gul, Rose and Tematayo are just four of the millions of women that 179 leaders at the International Conference on Population and Development set out to help ten years ago in Cairo, signing agreements linking women's rights to the reduction of poverty - rights including receiving the same education as boys; playing a full part in economic life; being free from all sexual discrimination and violence; and having basic shelter. In the first of two programmes on the 10th anniversary of the Cairo Conference, Life visits women in four countries to explore what has, and hasn't, changed.

Holding our Ground focuses on one of the most contested of the agreements hammered out in Cairo: reproductive rights. The right of both women and men to decide freely if and when to get married, and if, when and how often to have children, was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights over 50 years ago. It is critical to the process of modernisation. But 10 years after the Cairo agreement, it's still far from universally acknowledged. The programme features reports from: the Philippines, now at the epicentre of the battle over efforts to restrict information on, and access to, family planning; Latvia, where taboos surrounding the subject of sex still hamper efforts to provide information for adolescents; Japan, where the falling birthrate is focusing attention again on the problems of childcare for working women; and finally India, where - despite laws designed to protect the girl child - the practice of selective abortion of female fetuses appears to be growing. Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, describes why reproductive health and rights are critical for development worldwide.

Link: TVE's Lifeonline website provides summaries, transcripts and links for all their films. To order tapes of any of the programmes in the Life series please contact TVE's distribution office by clicking here.
TVE, 21 Elizabeth Street, Victoria, LONDON SW1W 9RP. Telephone: +44 20 7901 8855; fax: +44 20 7901 8856.