On this page we present one or more items of relevance to our work
and our mission. Items presented in previous months can be found on the "Archives" page of this website.
PAC OPPOSES U.S. GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP AND
20, 2017, we sent the following letter to U.S. Administration officials responsible for health and science appropriations
Planning Alternatives for Change (PAC) – a U.S.-based consulting
firm committed to social justiceand creating a more equitable world—deplores the U.S. Administration’s attack
on science, equality, and health by deciding to censor the Center for Disease Control’s use of words that are grounded
in scientific thinking and experience: “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,”
“vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based,” and “evidence-based.”
In addition, we abhor the fact that HHS has suppressed public opinion through its decision to withhold more than 10,000
public comments on a proposal that could affect access to abortion care for women and health care for transgender patients.
blatant censorship is an undeservedly cruel attack on poor and marginalized people in the U.S. and worldwide. The words that
President Trump’s “public servants” have censored—whether directly or indirectly—refer to health-related
disparities of specific populations—e.g., women, transgender, PLWAs, etc. Censoring undermines the
ability to use reliable, science-based research to guide effective policies, funding, and programs. PAC
is appalled by this anti-democratic, anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-women, and anti-minorities approach to human rights
and the dignity of the vulnerable populations.
We call upon you to reject these distortions of the truth
that, if acted upon, will place entire populations in jeopardy of declining health and well-being.
We ask you to reject this censorship, as it is directly related to policies and funding for which you are responsible.
Suzanne Hanchett, Ph.D., Partner, and Mary Ann Castle, Ph.D., Senior Associate
We Oppose Trump's Travel Ban
PAC partners and associates have worked in our professional
careers with and for communities in the US and worldwide that adhere to the Muslim religion. Some of us are Muslim scholars
and researchers. We stand with social scientists and scholars around the globe who decry the executive order of President
Trump that has barred people's admission to the United States from seven Muslim-majority nations. This order undermines
the U.S. Constitution. It makes a mockery of PAC's fundamental values of acceptance, collaboration with, and exchange
of ideas and knowledge with individuals of different cultures, religions, and ways of living.
Comments on a new report by Human Rights Watch on the Bangladesh arsenic problem (2016)
We are profoundly sad to announce the death of our beloved
PAC Partner, Dr. Eva Friedlander on 24 December 2015. Eva worked for many years on women's rights and disability issues.
She lived in New York and represented the International Women's Anthropology Conference at the United Nations. Family,
friends, and colleagues all mourn her passing.
SACOSAN-VI CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION
PAC Partner, Dr. Suzanne Hanchett, has been contributing to blogs
at the CLTS website on the many changes in the water-sanitation-hygiene sector. During the week of 10-13 January Suzanne attended
sessions at the sixth South Asia Sanitation Conference (SACOSAN-VI) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She made two presentations,
available You can read her SACOSAN-VI blogs by clicking on the link to the CLTS website.
Link to two SACOSAN-VI presentations
Pictures from SACOSAN-VI
PAC Associates, Shireen Akhter, Tofazzel
Hossain Monju, and Anwar Islam joined in a workshop hosted by IDS on 10 January at the beginning of SACOSAN-VI.
PAC Members' New Book
in South Asia: Bangladesh Perspectives," by Suzanne Hanchett, Tofazzel Hossain Monju, Kazi Rozana Akhter, Shireen
Akhter, and Anwar Islam is in final production. Publication by Development Resources Press (www.devresbooks.com) was published
“Water is life” in Bangladesh. Based on five researchers’ long-term involvement
with water development programs in eight districts, this book introduces the reader to the vast range of meanings that water
has in this South Asian country, where ordinary villagers struggle daily for access to safe supplies. Mythology, ancient sciences,
folklore, and language provide a rich cultural foundation sustaining villagers’ water-related beliefs and practices.
Large parts of the region face the daunting challenge of arsenic in the
water supply. Reactions to this serious problem are explored through case studies and insights based on the authors’
many years of field experience.
This book will help to sensitize scientifically oriented development workers to the ways that that cultural frameworks
influence people’s understandings and uses of new ideas and technologies. Focusing on WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene)
strategies, domestic supply issues, and women’s roles, the authors aim to throw light on new ways to engage with the
social and cultural context of a development project.
ISBN-978-0-9906337-0-9 (hardcover), -978-0-9906337-1-6 (paperback), -978-0-9906337-2-3 (e-book)
Order "Water Culture in South Asia: Bangladesh Perspectives" HERE
WHY THE U.N.
Friedlander's Column written for the November 2011 issue of the NAPA Section of Anthropology News
When I mention my work at the UN, people are often impressed,
although a blank expression belies confusion as to what an anthropologist could possibly be doing there. Just how an anthropologist
comes to play a role in a highly political and bureaucratic environment seems for some hard to fathom. But, working intermittently
with the UN in a variety of capacities over the past quarter century has brought home just how important an arena it is for
anthropologists to bring their expertise and the pathways for making that possible....
click here to download file
Mary Ann Castle, "Abortion in the United States' bible belt: organizing for power and empowerment" - read the full article
Over the last 30 years, conservative power in the United States, financed and organized by Christian fundamentalist sects,
the Catholic Church, and conservative corporate and political leadership, has become more threatening and potentially destabilizing
of progressive democratic principles and practices. Powerful interlocking political, financial and social forces are arrayed
against women in many Southern and Western states. They are having destructive effects on women's ability to control their
fertility and maintain bodily integrity and health. Poor women and women of color are disproportionately affected by restrictions
on abortion services. Strategically developed interventions must be initiated and managed at every level in these localities.
It is urgent to coordinate and empower individuals, multiple organizations and communities to engender effective changes in
attitudes, norms, behavior and policies that will enable women to obtain reproductive health services, including abortion
care. This paper describes contextual factors that continue to decimate U.S. women's right to health and, then, describes
a community organizing-social action project in a number of US' states aimed at reversing the erosion of women's right to
have or not to have children.
Citation: Reproductive Health 2011, 8:1