Poverty, Gender, and Youth Program Seminar Series
Sponsored by the Population Council's Poverty, Gender, and Youth program
Seminars are held from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm at the Population Council, One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (on Second Avenue between 47th & 48th Streets), in the John D. Rockefeller seminar room (JDR-A) on the 9th floor. Please RSVP to email@example.com so your name can be provided to security in the building lobby. Enter the building at the 48th Street entrance.
If you are unable to attend a seminar but would like to view a presentation online via WebEx, e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on seminars or to be added to the seminar announcement mail list, please contact seminar organizer Sajeda Amin.
3 November 2010
Speaker: Gérard J. Salem, Professor of Geography, University of Paris-Nanterre
Title: "Urbanization and health: A comparative perspective between Africa and Europe"
- Speaker bio
Gérard J. Salem is Professor of Geography at the University of Paris-Nanterre where he is Director of the Master’s program in Medical Geography and of the research program "Space, Health and Territories." His research interests include the environment, geography of health, and social geography in general, with a particular interest in urban geography in all geographic areas. After completing the equivalent of a B.A. and M.A. degree in geography (University of Paris 1 – Sorbonne), he went on to receive a Ph.D. in African Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (E.H.E.S.S.) in Paris. Additionally, he completed a two-year degree (D.E.S.S.) at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (with a focus on urbanization and national and regional development), and a degree in epidemiology from the Pasteur Institute in Paris. As a researcher with ORSTOM, he worked from 1980-1988 in Senegal, as part of a primary health care program, and then he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Montreal from 1989-1992 where he taught Geography of Africa and Medical Geography.
This seminar will explore general health impacts of urbanization including infectious morbidity, chronic and degenerative diseases, and the health care system. Professor Salem will also discuss inter and intra urban health disparities in Europe and Africa with special references to France, Sénégal, and Burkina Faso.
12 October 2010
Speaker: Lisa M. Bates, Assistant Professor, Departments of Epidemiology and Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Title: "Gendered social context, deviance, and intimate partner violence in rural Bangladesh"
- Speaker bio
Lisa M. Bates is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Population and Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Trained as a social epidemiologist and demographer at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Bates is a former Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar and a current affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center. Her research focuses on social inequalities and health, particularly related to how gender, socioeconomic position, and race/ethnicity influence health and health disparities. Current projects address the impact of social stratification processes on immigrant adaptation and health in the U.S. and the influence of social change on women’s risk of violence in the context of marriage and poverty in Bangladesh.
This seminar will provide an overview of the conceptual background, theoretical and empirical motivation, and methodology of a new cohort study “Influences of Women's Empowerment on Marriage and Violence in Bangladesh.” In recent years Bangladesh has experienced dramatic changes in sources of women’s empowerment, especially in girls’ education, resulting in impressive achievements in gender parity in enrollment and attainment. However, evidence suggests these dramatic changes may produce unintended consequences in marriage markets and dynamics within marriage. While some research suggests that women’s empowerment reduces their risk of experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV), other research suggests that a woman’s empowerment may threaten her male partner’s status or challenge gender norms, leading at least initially to an increased risk of IPV. The objective of this study is to clarify the individual- and community-level mechanisms by which a woman’s empowerment is associated with her risk of experiencing IPV in rural Bangladesh, where as many as 67% of women have experienced IPV in their lifetimes. The conceptual framework that informs this project stresses the role of the gendered social context in shaping a woman’s risks of experiencing IPV.
23 June 2010
Speaker: Nadine Goodman, founder and advisor to CASA
Title: "A case study: How strategic advocacy by a community-based, midwifery initiative is impacting Mexico’s national health system"
- Speaker bio
Nadine Goodman, M.P.H., M.S.W., founder and advisor to CASA, a Mexican nonprofit, will share the experience and documented impact of this organization’s multiple programs; in particular its experience launching and sustaining the country’s only government accredited midwifery school.
Goodman has led community development and human rights initiatives for 30 years. She specializes in sexual and reproductive health rights for young people. Recently she has dedicated herself to the critical areas of maternal and newborn health and nutrition. In 1981 Goodman cofounded CASA, an organization that today employs 90 people and serves over 70,000 a year throughout Mexico. Multiple services include sexuality and reproductive health programs, early childhood development programs, general medical attention, and more.
In 1996 Goodman launched Mexico’s first government-accredited private midwifery school and its affiliated teaching hospital. Today graduates are being recruited by Mexico’s public health ministry, and there is currently a bill in the national congress to fully incorporate the midwives into the national health system. The internationally recognized CASA midwifery program has been externally evaluated by UCSF and Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health; documented results include lower maternal mortality rates, lower cesarean rates than state and national rates, and lower birth weight rates. CASA has been shared as a replicable model for midwifery training in other parts of the world at working meetings sponsored by UNFPA, WHO, ICM, and the Clinton Global Initiative. On 17 and 18 June, Mexico’s national center for gender equity and reproductive health, affiliated with the federal health ministry, will hold a national conference on midwifery in Mexico City at which CASA will present its model.
In her work with CASA and as a consultant, Goodman strongly promotes public–private partnerships, but never as a substitute for universal, high-quality public services. To move to scale the midwifery model of care so that countries can reach the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, Goodman believes a global scholarship fund is needed thereby ensuring access of all women, especially indigenous and rural women, to culturally sensitive midwifery education.
Together with CASA’s cofounder, Alejandro Gonzalez Rullan, Goodman received the 2006 Population Leadership Award by Population Connection (Formerly Zero Population Growth). In 2000, she was elected to the Hall of Fame, Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work.
20 May 2010
Speaker: Christopher Weiss, Director, Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) M.A. Program, Columbia University
Title: "Grade retention and its effects on student performance: New evidence from the ECLS"
- Speaker bio
Christopher Weiss is the Director of the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) M.A. Program at Columbia University, where he is also affiliated with Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. He received his Ph.D. in sociology and demography from the University of Pennsylvania. His primary research interests focus on three distinct themes: the influence of organizations and institutions on children and adolescents; how features of urban environments influence the risk of obesity; and the causes and consequences of incarceration policies in the United States. (PDF)
Grade retention is a practice in which a student who has completed a particular grade of schooling is compelled to remain in that same grade in the subsequent school year. The practice has received significant attention from researchers and policymakers alike, although little research has examined its causal effect in a way that rigorously addresses concerns about selection bias. Despite this limitation, much of the policy rhetoric around retention makes causal assumptions about the potential costs and benefits of increasing the likelihood of retention. In this paper, we examine the effects of retention in the critical first years of schooling using data from the ECLS-K that is rich in predictors both of retention and subsequent test scores. In particular we estimate how first grade retention affects performance on third and fifth grade standardized assessments of reading and mathematics as well as how these impacts vary by race and gender.
Examining retention in this early phase of schooling is crucial not only because it is a time when many students encounter difficulty, but also because failure at an early stage may disadvantage student performance throughout the remainder of his/her schooling career.
25 March 2010
Speaker: Simeen Mahmud, BRAC Development Institute, BRAC University
Title: "Researching women’s empowerment and citizenship in Bangladesh: Challenges and prospects for influence"
- This seminar will discuss the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme of the BRAC Development Institute (BDI). Pathways is an international Research Programme Consortium made up of activists and academics who explore and seek to bring about positive change in women's everyday lives. It involves research institutions located in universities in Ghana, Brazil, Egypt and IDS, Sussex as well as UNIFEM. The Programme is funded primarily by the UK Department for International Development. (PDF)
- Speaker bio
Simeen Mahmud studied statistics at Dhaka University and medical demography at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She joined the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies in 1974 and recently retired as research director in the Population Studies Division. She was a MacArthur Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies in 1993. Currently she is lead researcher at the BRAC Development Institute at BRAC University in Dhaka. Her past research has been on demographic estimation, the relationship between women’s work, status, and fertility and demographic transition under poverty. Currently she is working on women’s work and empowerment, citizenship and development, and sex preference in family building.
24 February 2010
Speaker: Monica Das Gupta, Senior Social Scientist, Development Research Group
Title: "Son preference in China, South Korea, and India: Underlying causes and some consequences"
- Speaker bio
Monica Das Gupta is a senior social scientist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank. Trained in demography and social anthropology, she has researched and written extensively on population, health, and gender issues. She is currently working on issues related to the organization of public health services in India and Sri Lanka. Before joining the Bank, she worked at the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi, and at the Harvard University Center for Population and Development Studies.
Why do China, South Korea, and northwest India manifest such extreme child sex ratios compared with other societies? The author argues that what makes these societies unique is that their pre-modern political and administrative systems used patrilineages to organize and administer their citizens. The interplay of culture, state, and political processes generated uniquely rigid patriliny and son preference. She also discusses how the advent of the modern state in these settings has unraveled the underpinnings of the rigid patrilineal rules, and unleashed a variety of forces that reduce son preference.
The manifestation of son preference is well-known to have consequences for girls, with excess female child mortality as parents try to limit the number of girls they raise. For boys, a major consequence is a shortage of available future brides. Projections* of the proportions of men remaining unmarried in China in later decades of this century indicate that they will tend to be concentrated amongst the least-educated men living in poor regions ill-equipped to offer programs that can offset some of the vulnerabilities of aging alone. The social protection programs currently in place in China have limited reach and are highly regressive in impact: issues that need to be addressed to mitigate the potential negative consequences of clustering of dispossessed men.
* Joint work in progress with Avraham Ebenstein and Ethan Jennings.
- Related links
- "The daughter deficit," The New York Times, 19 August 2009 (offsite link)
- "The decline of son preference in South Korea: The roles of development and public policy" (PDF)
- "Family systems, political systems, and Asia’s 'missing girls': The construction of son preference and its unraveling" (PDF)
- "Why is son preference so persistent in East and South Asia? A cross-country study of China, India and the Republic of Korea" (PDF)
20 January 2010
Speaker: Susan Purdin, Deputy Health Director, International Rescue Committee
Title: "The provision of reproductive health services in crisis settings"
- Speaker bio
Susan Purdin, RN, MPH, is deputy health director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She is part of a team overseeing projects addressing the health needs of persons affected by armed conflict in 25 countries around the world. In addition to her work with the IRC she holds an adjunct faculty position in Columbia University’s Forced Migration and Health Program, teaching classes on program planning, reproductive health, and HIV in situations of forced migration.
Since 1986 her career has focused on public health in the international arena. She is recognized as an expert in the provision of humanitarian assistance in general and in reproductive health in particular. She also has wide experience in the development of technical and managerial capacity of program staff.
Ms. Purdin led the development of the first phase of the Sphere Project, which fostered consensus among international NGOs on minimum standards for humanitarian assistance. In 1999 she received the Global Health Council award for “Best Practice in the Field of Global Health” for her work providing field-based, on-site technical assistance to reproductive health projects in conflict settings. Purdin has worked in Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Malawi, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Zambia.
She is a member of the American Public Health Association, the Global Health Council, the Reproductive Health Response in Crisis Consortium, the Interagency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Taskforce on Gender in Humanitarian Assistance, and technical advisory groups on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and maternal and neonatal health.
5 January 2010
Speaker: Asmita Basu, 2009–2010 Fulbright Professional Research Fellow, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York
Title: "Legislating on domestic violence" (PDF)
- Speaker bio
Asmita Basu is the recipient of a Fulbright Doctoral and Professional Research Fellowship at Brooklyn Law School. She is also currently an independent legal consultant serving organizations including Lawyers Collective (Women’s Rights Initiative) (LCWRI) in New Delhi, UNIFEM South Asia, and Médicins Sans Frontières. Prior to this, she was a consultant and project coordinator for LCWRI in New Delhi. During this time LCWRI successfully campaigned and lobbied for the enactment of a domestic violence law. The work of LCWRI resulted in the enactment of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 in India. Basu has written extensively on domestic violence legislation. She received her L.L.M. from the University of Nottingham in 2002.
- Related links
- "Domestic violence legislation and its implementation" (PDF)
- "Staying alive: Second monitoring and evaluation report 2008 on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005" (PDF)
- "Legislating on domestic violence," 2007 seminar article (PDF)
- UNIFEM South Asia Office: publications on violence against women (offsite link)
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