Gender Educational Parity Missing Mark Discussion Case Assignment
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Gender Educational Parity Missing Mark Discussion Case Assignment
The second and third millennium goals are closely intertwined. The first part of the target for MDG 3 has already passed without being met: “Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005.” While 125 countries, both developing and industrialized, were on course to eventually achieve gender parity, overall enrollment remains low.34
Some 94 countries missed the 2005 target for gender parity, and 86 may not achieve this by 2015, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). By contrast, Iran (where family size has
declined to replacement level fertility) has already achieved a 90 percent gender balance, and more women than men enter Iran’s universities.35
High Fertility and Child, Maternal Mortality
Reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, MDGs 4 and 5, respectively, are essential aspects in addressing population stability. High fertility is strongly associated with child mortality and greatly increases a woman’s lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes. Women will never be empowered until they achieve full control over their reproductive health.
The data indicate that much progress is required. Since 1990, there has been less than a one percent annual decline in deaths of women from pregnancy and childbirth complications. In 2005, 536,000 women—one each minute—died of maternal causes.36 The world’s poorest countries account for 99 percent of these, the vast majority of which are preventable with at least minimal prenatal care and the assistance of skilled birth attendants. According to estimates, access to volun- tary family planning could reduce maternal deaths by 20 to 35 percent.37
Figure 1 shows UNFPA estimates of disparities in maternal mortality ratios (MMRs) for some of the highest and lowest countries, and the world average. Maternal mortality ratios, the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, show the greatest gap between rich and poor countries of all health indicators. The MMR is declining too slowly to meet the fifth MDG; an annual drop of 5.5 percent is needed, whereas the actual figure is less than 1 percent. 38
FIGURE 1 Countries with High and Low Maternal Mortality,
Estimates for 2005
Source for both figures: United Nations Population Fund, 2007
Not surprisingly, the lifetime risk of maternal death also varies exponentially from poor to rich countries. Figure 2 shows the dramatic disparity between countries with the highest and lowest risk of estimated lifetime risk of maternal death.
Maternal mortality can be substan- tially reduced by ensuring such factors as women’s equity, literacy empowerment, reproductive health, and access to family planning information, education, and meth- ods. These viable interventions not only reduce maternal death but in turn combat poverty and enhance development.
Unfortunately, these and additional challenges to meeting the MDGs continue unimpeded. New diseases confound spe- cialists in their number and distribution, and existing diseases remain as vexing as ever. Environments already left vulnerable by climate change face continued degradation of their forests, waters, agricultural lands, flora and fauna. Growing energy consump- tion, industrialization, and use of fossil fuels will only get worse as a new generation steps forward to enjoy the lifestyle expectations created by the prior generation.
Population and Fragile/Failed States
The issues affected by population range well beyond those promoted by the MDGs. In recent years the term “fragile states” has been used by the World Bank and other prominent international organizations, not without some controversy, to describe countries at risk from a mix of internal and outside factors.
The World Bank publishes a list of low-income countries under stress (LICUS), or fragile states, from among the 82 International Development Agency (IDA) borrowing countries. In fiscal year 2007 there were 34 countries on the list, up from 25 in 2005. The designation refers to countries scoring 3.2 and below on the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA), which is the primary tool to assess the quality of country policies and the main input to IDA’s Performance- Based Allocation system.39 In general terms, they are states that lack either the capacity or the will to deliver on core state functions, and where international part- ners find it difficult to engage.
Although country contexts vary considerably, the fragile states are home to almost 500 million persons, with child mortality rates twice as high as other low income countries, life expectancy 12 years lower, maternal mortality rates some 20
FIGURE 2 Estimated Lifetime Risk of Maternal
Death, Highest and Lowest Countries (%)
Niger Liberia World Austria Ireland
percent higher, and gross domestic product (GDP) rates typically half that of the others. Additional challenges these fragile states must confront are extreme pov- erty, low levels of human and social development, weak institutional capacity, and slow growth. Three out of four are affected by ongoing armed conflicts.40
In a policy and principle strategy document for dealing with fragile states, Europe’s Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development expressed its intent to focus on state building as the central objective, including “ensuring security and justice, mobilizing revenue, establish an enabling environ- ment for basic service delivery, strong economic performance, and employment generation.”41 The document notes that efforts must recognize the interdependence of political, security, economic and social spheres, and that gender equity, social inclusion, and human rights must be consistently promoted.
However, a special focus on population stabilization is needed as well. A state’s natural resources are usually known and finite: arable land, port access, available water and forest lands, as well as infrastructure: roads, bridges and major buildings, which take medium to long-term planning to develop. However, popula- tion growth may often be much more difficult to quantify. What is known is that if a state is having trouble delivering services to its existing citizens, rapid population growth will surely hamper development planning and strategies. And common among nearly all the fragile states is high population growth.
A separate list of countries in a precarious state is compiled by the Fund for Peace, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, and published in conjunc- tion with Foreign Policy magazine. In 2007 the Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy published their third annual Failed States Index, a list compiled by scanning tens of thousands of press and research documents for keywords and phrases. Twelve indicators provide rankings of some 170 countries, the weakest (and thus more highly ranked) of which are said to be in danger of failure.
Without denoting specifically when “failure” is achieved, the weakest states are said to have similar problems: loss of physical control of territory or the legiti- mate use of force, the erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions, an inability to interact with other states, and an inability to provide public services. Other characteristics include rampant corruption, predatory elites with a monopoly on power, an absence of the rule of law, and severe ethnic or religious divisions.42
There was significant overlap between the World Bank fragile states and the Fund for Peace/Foreign Policy Failed States Index; 18 of the 20 most populous countries on the World Bank list are also listed within the Index’s top 50.
Table 1 shows the 20 most populous states from the World Bank List of Fragile States 2007, along with the rank assigned to each from the Fund for Peace/ Foreign Policy index (if they fell within that list’s top 50). Also, six randomly selected developing countries with roughly the same population range have been included.
Additional columns show the 2005 population for each country, along with the annual growth rate, the anticipated percentage of population increase by 2050, the current total fertility rates, adolescent fertility rates, the percentage of births attended by skilled health personnel, and the contraceptive prevalence rates. World averages for these categories are also noted for comparison purposes.
Table 1 Population Figures from Among the Most Populous Fragile States
Sources: Population Reference Bureau; World Bank; Fund for Peace/Foreign Policy Magazine; World Health Organization
Notes: a. Projected percentage of population increase by 2050 b. Total fertility rate c. Adolescent fertility rate d. Percentage of births attended by skilled health personnel e. Contraceptive prevalence rate
The numbers reveal high levels of population growth in most of the fragile states, along with high total and adolescent fertility rates, and low contraceptive prevalence. While anecdotal, the comparison with the other states shows much higher rates of fertility and population growth among the fragile states. In addition, the birth attendance percentages are only half those of the other countries noted, demonstrating a lack of access to trained health professionals. Contraceptive prevalence rates are only a third of the other countries, showing a wide unmet need for contraception in the fragile states.
Considering that fragile states tend to have younger populations, it is also instructive to note the adolescent fertility rate is double that of the randomly selected states. The women in those countries will begin their childbearing earlier, making the need to create family planning programs all the more urgent.
Population and the Environment
Any modern consumer of mass media is familiar with climate change and interrelated topics such as global warming, greenhouse gases, environmental deg- radation, and pollution. Of the challenges discussed so far, expanding population is perhaps most closely intertwined with climate change, and yet population is routinely ignored in most discussions. As such, population growth should become a second front in the battle against climate change, as one of the easiest and least costly, yet most neglected, options available.
It is recognized that the industrialized world, especially the United States, is among the major contributors to global warming through the burning of fossil fuels. No real progress can be made until industrialized countries address their high con- sumption and resulting effects on the planet. Least developed countries produce only a fraction of the emissions of the industrialized world. Total emissions from the devel- oping world are expected to exceed those from the industrialized world by 2015. Nonetheless, programs addressing the various issues of climate change that neglect the incorporation of population growth strategies are seriously flawed. In March 2007 the Associated Press reported that the head of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the biggest challenge fac- ing the world is population growth and people’s desire to live in coastal areas where they can be endangered by storms.43
Although wealthier, industrialized countries with large populations account for much of the consumption and greenhouse gases, environmental degradation in many less-industrialized countries is increasing as their rising populations struggle to survive, and this will have serious, long-term consequences. Such activities as clearing forests for grazing, crops, and living space, chopping wood for fuel, over- fishing and abuse of local marine ecosystems, diversion and overuse of fresh water systems, illegal strip mining and forestry, and unchecked burning for agriculture will only increase as populations grow. The environments in resource-poor coun- tries will be especially at risk.
Gender Educational Parity Missing Mark Discussion Case Assignment
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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