Our families provide us a stepping stone to an interactive and social world and shape us up into well-functioning adults.15th May marks a special day for our loved ones as the world observes it as the International Day of Families. The UN General Assembly proclaimed the day for the first time in 1994with an aim to “provide an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.” and it has been observed ever since.
Every year the United Nations announces a family-focused theme pertaining to the commemoration, with last year the topic being “Families and Climate Action”. For 2020, the UN chose “Families in Development: Copenhagen and Beijing”. The cities were chosen to mark the 25th anniversary of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Beijing Platform for Action.
Conferences held at these two cities proposed the importance of family and its role in our social development and according to the official charter published, “agreed to specify its worldwide observance as an initiative for the well-being of all individuals in the family.”
Besides our immediate family with whom we share our genes, the day also commemorates the importance of other equally important “families” in our life – communities, cultural groups and any person or multiple persons we happen to be attached to. Though not related by blood, we share a strong bond with them.
The day also points the spotlight to the category of people who unfortunately are not able to enjoy the full benefits of a family. In conflict-ridden areas or poverty-stricken regions, many families are deprived of basic accommodation, employment, healthcare facilities and live in dire conditions. Worse, there are some adults or even young children who don’t even have a family- either separated or killed in the conflict. Sometimes families end up leaving their children at orphanages due to a lack of substantial finances to support their upbringing.
Thus the International Day Of Families helps in driving forward such critical conversations and in creating awareness about these oft-overlooked issues. Apart from celebrating the benefits of the family system and acknowledging its importance, the day stresses the need to reserve a thought for people not privileged to have one.
Stay tuned, Stay Relevant!