May 15, 2014: UN Observance of the International Day of Families Category: UN Observance Days

May 15, 2014, is not only the 20th Anniversary of the UN Observance of the International Day of Families, but it is also a day to celebrate one of the UN’s main themes for 2014, entitled: “Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals; International Year of the Family +20”.

The major themes for this year include:

  1. Confronting family poverty and social exclusion;
  2. Ensuring work-family balance; and
  3. Advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity within families and communities.

The UN and Families
img_familiaAccording to the United Nations, it seems that policies which are family oriented lead to lower poverty rates, better general outcomes for the lives of children, higher levels of gender equality, a better balance between work and family time, and strong bonds between different generations.

The UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has a division called the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) which focuses on building social policy for many groups including family. DSPD works towards “offering opportunities and higher standards of living for all”. DSPD has been instrumental in making the International Year of the Family a success, which has been celebrated and spoken about in high-level meetings all around the world. Conferences on family and social planning for the Year of the Family included: Buenos Aires, Nairobi, Brussels, and Lagos, among others.

Importance of Family


Dr. David Popenoe, a pioneer in the study of fatherhood, has found that fathers bring “positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring”. In fact, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said that fathers who are active and nurturing to their children lead to children that have higher success rate in academics. HHS has also stated that “children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes” and that “fathers who are involved, nurturing and playful with their infants have children with higher IQs…better linguistic and cognitive capacities.”

Mother-Father Relationship

img_familia2HHS also has found that parents’ influence of their children has much to do with their own relationship to each other. According to HHS website, “one of the most important benefits of a positive relationship between mother and father…is the behavior it models for children.” This is to say that parents’ who deal with their own conflicts in respectful ways will find their boys will be less likely to act aggressively towards girls. Similarly with girls, girls will be more aware of respect and want their peers to respect them more.

Moreover, the HHS found that when there is mutual respect between parents, parenting is more successful.

For more information on parenting by the HHS, please click here.

Abused Children

According to ChildSafe International, child abuse comes in many different forms including: Physical, Sexual, Emotional, Neglect, Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Child Sex Tourism, Child Labor, Child Trafficking, Drug Abuse and Illegal Adoption.

If you are a victim of any of these types of abuse or know someone who is, then please visit this site to find out how you can overcome your situation. If you are checking the site from a computer your abuser may see, remember to delete it from the computer’s history file.

Remember: Abuse is not your fault!


Questions for the Reader:

  1. What is your family like?
  2. What do you find is the best part about your family? And the worst? How can you help to improve it?

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