State of World Population 2008
Reaching common ground: culture, gender and human rights
Publication date: 2008
Number of pages: 108
"…..As a fundamental part of people’s lives, culture must be integrated into development policy and programming. The State of World Population 2008 report from UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, shows how this process works in practice.
This year is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The report’s starting point is that human rights reflect universal values. It calls for culturally sensitive approaches to development because they are essential for human rights in general, and women’s rights in particular.
Culturally sensitive approaches call for cultural fluency – familiarity with how cultures work, and how to work with them. The report suggests that partnerships – for example between UNFPA and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – can create effective strategies to promote human rights, such as women’s empowerment and gender equality, and end human rights abuses like female genital mutilation or cutting.
Culture influences how people manage their lives, the report says. Cultures affect how people think and act; but, they do not make everyone think and act alike. Cultures influence and are influenced by external circumstances, and they change in response. People are continually reshaping them, although some aspects of culture continue to influence choices and lifestyles for a long time…”