The decennial International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) that took place in Cairo in 1994 has been described as historic and revolutionary. It rejected top-down demographically driven population control programs, emphasizing instead reproductive health and rights for women, and for men. This volume explores the ideas and institutions that framed the Cairo consensus and traces their trajectories sixteen years down the line. Why were Third World feminists profoundly critical of the Cairo consensus and process? How has the health of people around the world been affected by neo-liberal economic policies? The intervening years have also seen the global rise of anti-feminisms and fundamentalisms targeting women's bodies and rights. What have these meant for women's rights, including reproductive rights?

The book presents detailed case studies ranging from India and China, to Egypt, Africa and Latin America, as well as overarching themed essays. With data, reasoned arguments and passion, all the chapters reveal the fault lines in thinking about population issues that do not challenge neo-Malthusian ideas. With the ongoing financial and climate crisis, such population ideas are once again coming onto centrestage, indicating the need for critical awareness.

This book contains essays by leading scholars across the world, brought together in one place for the first time. From the politics of abortion and immigration to rising levels of fundamentalist violence and sex selective abortions, the volume explores a range of issues from several vantage points. It offers startling new insights into these issues by linking them to neo-liberal economic policies that have profoundly shaped health globally.

A Decade and More after Cairo: Women's Health in a Free Market Economy*
A decade and more after Cairo: Women's health in a free market economy
SarahSexton and SumatiNair.

The 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo was heralded as a “quantum leap” forward (comment made by UNFPA Executive Director Nafis Sadik, cited in McIntosh and Finkle 1995: 224) and a “paradigm shift in the discourse about population and development” (Presser and Sen 2000: 3). Its Programme of Action was the first and most comprehensive international policy document to promote the concepts of reproductive rights and reproductive health. Its major recommendation was that population programs should provide comprehensive reproductive health services that were integrated and coordinated with each other and with other health services. ...

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