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The Cairo Conference on Population and Development: A New Paradigm?

C. Alison McIntosh and Jason L. Finkle
Population and Development Review
Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 223-260
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2137493
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137493
Page Count: 38
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The Cairo Conference on Population and Development: A New Paradigm?
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Abstract

The United Nations population conference held in Cairo in September 1994 departed in several respects from its predecessors at Bucharest and Mexico City. The end of the Cold War, the election of a liberal President in the United States, and an unprecedented level of participation by nongovernmental organizations contributed to a political environment in which orthodox population policy was devalued. In its place, the conference outlined a "new paradigm" in which the reduction of global population growth was replaced by an individual-level model with women's health, rights, status, and empowerment at its heart. The authors argue that this result was primarily a consequence of an extraordinarily effective campaign undertaken by the international women's movement. The article analyzes the politics of the main protagonists: the women's movement, the United States government, and the Holy See. The authors conclude that there is a disjunction between the political process that produced the Program of Action and the strategies that will be required to mobilize the resources and commitment for its implementation.

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