International Day of Families being observed today (May 15)

International Day of Families will be observed on May, 15 across the world to promotes the importance of a healthy and well-balanced family.

 The day 2015 theme is:”Men in charge? Gender equality and children’s rights in contemporary families” which highlights the importance of gender equality and children’s rights in contemporary families.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “As we strive to usher in a more sustainable future, achieve the Millennium Development Goals, shape a new development agenda and combat climate change, let us mobilize the world’s families.”

“Around the world, more women are becoming recognized as the equal partners and decision-makers in families that they should be, thus helping to ensure a conducive environment for the full and harmonious development of children.

Yet in too many countries, discrimination against women and disregard for children’s rights remain built into family laws and Government policies, and prevailing social norms often condone and justify many discriminatory practices.

The social and economic costs are felt by all. Discrimination and neglect often lead to violence, threatening women’s and children’s health and limiting their chances to complete education and fulfil their potential. The cycle tends to continue into the next generation, as children experiencing violence are more likely to resort to violence in their adult lives.”

Equitable social and economic development depends on fair legal frameworks and social norms that support the rights of women and children. Discriminatory laws and practices that do not give equal rights to all, and that suppress women’s and children’s rights, have no place in contemporary families, communities, societies and nations, he further said.

On this International Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked all to resolve to change legal and social norms that support male control over women, reinforce discrimination and prevent the elimination of violence against vulnerable family members. “As we shape a new sustainable development agenda and strive for a world of dignity for all, let us stand united for women’s and children’s rights in families and societies at large.”

The year 1994 was proclaimed as the International Year of Families by the United Nations.

This was a response to changing social and economic structures, which have affected and still affect the structure and stability of family units in many regions of the globe.

The International Day of Families, on May 15, is an occasion to reflect on the work started during 1994 and to celebrate the importance of families, people, societies and cultures around the world. It has been held every year since 1995.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International