The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994, was one of a series of United Nations world conferences of the decade that achieved significant decisions to promote gender equality and the advancement of the world's women. This conference of 180 United Nations (UN) Member States produced an agreement, the Program of Action, which connected demographic issues of managing the expansion of global population and sustainable world development to the promotion of women's welfare and rights to education, health, and reproductive services.

In the 1980s and 1990s, neoliberal “globalization” of the world's economy and structural adjustment programs (SAPs) promoted by Western governments, the World Bank, and other international lenders resulted in severe cutbacks to state-sponsored social welfare spending generally and to ...

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