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ANTH3027 research essay proposal.docx

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Carleton University
ANTH 1001

Emma Wallace 100738476 ANTH3027 Dr. Aliaa Dakroury February 1, 2012 The Millennium Development Goals are making a difference… sort of. 1 The Millennium Development Goals (MDG), as published by the United Nations (UN) after the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 is a step in the right direction towards the improvement of universal human rights and eradicating extreme poverty. The goals are seen as a possible way to determine and measure how globalization has impacted developing countries, especiallyAfrica (Wamala et. al., 2010). The MDG are hoped to be met by 2015 and they call for the improvement of hunger, universal education, gender equity, child health, maternal health, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, environmental sustainability and global partnership (Nelson, 2007). There is a focus especially on improving rights for women, including gender equality and maternal health internationally (Nelson, 2007). In the fight to end poverty, universal human rights and access to health care are considered to be essential in order to achieve success (Klasen, 2005). However, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) does not seek enough protection for human rights, especially the right to safe reproduction for women. There have been annual reports made to track the progress of international efforts being made to meet the MDG by 2015. The findings in these annual reports show that certain targets are being prioritized above other MDG targets, the goals that are not being met the most are, on average, the goals which outline the empowerment of women and call for the improvement of women’s healthcare (Wamala et. al. 2010) The Millennium Development Goals are the most important initiative taken by the international community to promote global and human development. The goals are said to have a strong association with the promotion of human rights, however, both human rights researchers and developing communities have difficulty seeing a strong association. While the goals do set standards that will improve human rights, some researchers believe that they do not set standards that are high enough and address enough issues surrounding human rights (Aston, 2005, p. 757). 2 Kenya’s Green Belt Movement In order for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to be met on their target, countries that are at risk of not meeting their MDG should review what other countries have been doing in order to help their country reach its goals. Countries like Kenya, Nigeria and Brazil have taken initiative to improve living standards to try and meet the MDG. They are only a few countries out of many that need to improve their enforcement of human rights and achieving these goals is essential for economic and social development on a global scale (Sahn & Stifel, 2003). For developing countries, meeting MDG targets and goals is essential in order to made progress as there are incentives, that provide countries that meet specific targets with additional supplies to sustain their progress made by industrialized countries (Alston, 2005, p.758). According to the article written by Nagel, MDG analysts may benefit from understanding the strategies that are used by a non-governmental organization like Kenya’s Green Belt Movement (GBM) (Nagel, 2005). The MDG have set goals to improve not just women’s rights but also improve awareness and actions being taken to protect the environment, as researchers believe that sustaining the environment is one of the key elements to eradicating extreme poverty (Nagel, 2005). The Green Belt Movement was a tree-planting project led by Wangari Maathai (Nagel, 2005). Trees have always been used as a symbol of life however; they have also become a symbol for peace and conflict resolution (Nagel, 2005). In recent years, trees have been used to reconcile differences between feuding communities while Kenya was experiencing a number of ethnic conflicts. They were planted around communities in order to promote a “culture of peace” (Nagel, 2005, p. 1). Many of the participants in the GBM have been women. Some of the main initiatives of the GBM were to mobilize and empower women living in both urban and rural communities to participate in a project that would create jobs, help teach environmental 3 sustainability, farming skills and promote peace so that participants, especially women could learn from and make use of these skills in their everyday lives (Nagel, 2005). Many of the goals and intentions of the GBM are those that could be useful to help developing countries meet their MDG targets for not just empowering women but also for their environmental MDG as well, if implemented on a mass scale. According to researchers, it is important to spread awareness of successes in countries so that others may use those successes as an example for their own countries (Barros et. al, 2010). Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is “limited” and “selective” in their approach and prioritizes certain targets and goals over others (Alston, 2005, p. 756). Examples of goals that are not prioritized yet considered by researchers to be essential to human and global development are; the fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG), which is for reducing child mortality and the fifth MDG, which is for improving maternal health (Nelson, 2007). MDG five has seen the least amount of improvement worldwide out of all the health related MDG (Barros et. al, 2010). According to analysts of the MDG and other initiatives such as, the Program of Action which was implemented at the 1994 International Conference on Population Development in Cairo, achieving reproductive healthcare for all is important to the success of social and economic development (Dixon-Mueller & Germain, 2007). However, the official MDG does not specifically mention reproductive rights as rights that require significant improvements; instead they call for the improvement and implementation of maternal health (Dixon-Mueller & Germain, 2010). Arguably, the MDG should include reproductive rights in their goals as they have been deemed necessary in order to sustain economic and social development (Dixon-Mueller & Germain, 2010). If more countries decided to adopt this outlook 4 then they would see more progress towards meeting their MDG by 2015. Brazil is one of the few countries that are actually on track to reach, and perhaps even surpass, their MDG four and five (Barros et. al, 2010). This is largely due to a positive shift in governmental funding and more attention being paid to these particular issues (Barros et. al, 2010). End violence towards women In third world countries, it has been estimated that one in every five women will experience violence shown against them at some point in their life-time (Abama & Chris, 2009). Violence has been recognized as a human rights and health issue, as we
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