Families, both traditional and non-traditional, are the foundation of society. Some of the most formative years of our lives are spent growing up with our families, so they should be celebrated! The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting them. In many countries, this day is an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance of families, people, societies, and cultures around the world.
Each year, 15th May is observed worldwide as the International Day of Families. In 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed this date to be an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families. The United Nations Programme on the Family stresses the importance of having healthy and happy familial relationships.
This year’s 25th anniversary of Copenhagen Declaration and Beijing Platform for Action come at the time of one of the most challenging global health and social crises. The COVID-19 pandemic brings into sharp focus the importance of investing in social policies protecting the most vulnerable individuals and families. It is the families who bear the brunt of the crisis, sheltering their members from harm, caring for out of school children, and at the same time continuing their work responsibilities.
As the world struggles to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, there is a real opportunity to rethink and transform the way our economies and societies function to foster greater equality for all. In doing so, gender equality will not be achievable without greater equality in families, and that on this, and so much else, the Beijing Platform for Action continues to provide a visionary roadmap of where we need to go.
The approaches to family policies for inclusive and equal societies vary around the world. In some regions emphasis is placed on the social inclusion of various types of families and/or individuals such as: migrant, refugees, indigenous families, ethnic minorities, or families with persons with disabilities. In other regions, the primary emphasis is placed on social protection for vulnerable families to facilitate their full inclusion in the mainstream of society.
We, at World Assembly of Youth (WAY), understand the importance of the international day of families. It highlights the importance of family in society thereby having stronger and equal families, and communities. It also provides a real-life example of how the human family can work together to create a better world. It is an opportunity to have critical conversations about some of the challenges that families around the world face. Many families are dealing with issues like poverty, lack of health care, and employment.
Today, we promote awareness and a better understanding of some of these challenges. We also encourage young people from all around the world to embrace gender equality in contemporary families in both their current family and the one that they will build in future. We treat everyone equally as we seek to create a more just world by empowering everyone, especially young activists from around the globe through a combination of cross-cultural human rights.
Together with this year International Day of Families, we recap our encouragement to the youth to embrace the significance of family especially its role in education, healthcare, and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.