Archivo de la etiqueta: ONU

International Year of the Family

ALEX VAZQUEZ PHOTO por José Alejandro Vázquez, IFF


  The Covid-19 pandemic impacted the pace of various United Nations’ efforts to alleviate theburden of uncountable disruptions suffered by many families. On November 15th, 2021 after a turbulent year and not much significant progress on the so-called “family resolution”, Guinea on behalf of the Group of 77 + China, introduced the draft resolution to the Third Committee [1].

  The resolution, co-sponsored by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, portrays an effort to highlight the spirit of cooperation and collaboration shown by all member states, which enabled the agreement on important issues addressed in the resolution. At the same time, member states recognized the role of the State of Qatar as a longstanding facilitator of the document and their leadership in accomplishing consensus. [2]

 The consensus achieved is never overestimated considering how delicate family matters haveproven to be. Nevertheless, we celebrate the novelty that this year, the document focus on the preparations for and observance of the thirtieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2024. The upcoming Anniversary is marked by many challenges for families andgovernments alike, urging the need for a collaborative spirit to support families in their social role and as an efficient tool to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

   We reproduce in this paper the approved text [3], highlighting some of the new paragraphs added or expanded to show the importance of the resolution in the coming years and especially while having the 30 thAnniversary on the horizon.

Motherhood, Teleworking and the Value of Work

   Encourages Governments […] to develop strategiesand programmes aimed at strengthening national capacities to address national priorities relating to family issues and to step up their efforts, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, to implement those objectives, in particular in the areas of fighting poverty and hunger to prevent the intergenerational transfer and feminization of poverty and ensure thewell-being of all at all ages in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. [4]

  Up until 2020, several paragraphs featured the role of women in families. The current document brings new perspectives and interesting references to the recognition of mothers in the household and ways how governments can support their role better.

   The transition of becoming a mother poses many challenges and has been relatively well researched, with studies finding that women experience the transition as overwhelming [5]. With motherhood, they also experience improved self-image, growth of their own resources, and a greater sense of meaning in life. [6] The responsibility of being a good mother also involves self-reflection and the ability to cope with fears, demands, and commitments. [7]

   Also encourages Member States to recognize, reduce and redistribute unpaid care and domestic work, particularly by women, and enhance efforts to ensure equal pay for equal work or work of equal, and to promote work-family balance as conducive to the well-being of children, youth, persons with disabilities and older persons and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, interalia, through the improvement of working conditions for workers with family responsibilities, expanding flexible working arrangements, including through the use ofnew information and communications technologies, and providing and/or expanding leave arrangements, such as maternity leave and paternity leave […]. [8]

  A key strategy to support mothers during the transition has been teleworking. Under normalconditions, teleworking was done voluntarily, with a view to allowing the work to be arranged in a way that best meets the overall objectives and needs of the companies and organisations, covering both employers’ and workers’ needs. With the pandemic, teleworking was boosted substantially, resulting in more than 1/3 of employed people working from home, with a greater share of women than men. [9] Compared to 2018, when less than 5% of employees worked remotely regularly and less than 10% occasionally, as reported by the EC 2020.

  Teleworking provides many opportunities to contribute to gender equality such as improved participation in the labor market; increased flexibility in the organization of working time and in combining unpaid care responsibilities with paid employment, which can improve labor market participation; productivity gains through higher performance; a better spatial match between demand and supply of labor without the need for moving to another place; time and cost savings due to the elimination of or decrease in commuting, etc.

  At the same time, teleworking carries some risks, such as possible challenges related to the worker becoming invisible in the work community; missing out on formal and informal support structures, personal contacts with colleagues and access to information, promotion and training opportunities; possible worsening of gender inequalities and increased risk of violence and harassment.

   For women, this can exacerbate existing gender inequalities. Mitigating such risks successfully calls for a proper gender analysis – as even policies that might look gender-neutral may, in reality, be gender blind and affect women negatively – so every effort must be taken to strive for a positive impact. [10]

Covid-19 Recovery

   Calls upon Member States, United Nations entities, within their respective mandates, and other relevant stakeholders to protect families and family members from the negative socioeconomic and health-related impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including, inter alia, by providing access to full and productive employment and decent work, as well as effective, inclusive, resilient and gender- sensitive social protection systems and public services, expanded child and family benefits, paid parental leave and sick leave, improved flexibility of working arrangements and gender-sensitive services to reduce the burden of care, including quality childcare. [11]

 The COVID-19 pandemic risks devastating long-term economic consequences for children, families, communities and countries around the world. Children who were already marginalized are the most affected, as they suffer the impact of living in poverty, lost education, poorer nutrition and disrupted mental health. Usually, economic crises are followed by cuts to government spending, including on programmes for children. If the world repeats this pattern in the wake of COVID-19, poverty and deprivation among children will persist long after the immediate crisis has waned.

   To prevent a lost decade, it is essential that countries invest in children to achieve sustained, inclusive economic growth and ensure they are prepared for the global economy of the future. We urgently need an inclusive recovery plan to reinstate the hard-won development gains of the past and avert the consequences of poverty for millions more children and their families.

   An inclusive recovery requires governments safeguarding critical social spending to ensure that social systems and interventions are protected from spending cuts and expanded where inadequate.

  For instance, identify and ring-fence spending on programmes for children, adopting the principle of children being first in line for investment and last in line for cuts; and expand resilient social protection programmes for the most vulnerable children, no matter their migration status, as well as families with children, including working towards universal child benefits and child-friendly services like affordable, quality childcare. [12]

Parenting Education

  Also encourages Member States to invest in family-oriented policies and programmes and to provide universal and gender-sensitive social protection systems, which are key to ensuring poverty reduction, including, as appropriate, targeted cash transfers for families in vulnerable situations, as can be the case of families headed by a single parent, in particular those headed by women, and which are most effective in reducing poverty when accompanied by other measures, such as providing access to basic services, high-quality education and health-care services, in addition to family services and counselling. [13]

  Family services and counseling are related to parenting education. Parenting support has been an important tool for parents and caregivers in their child-rearing efforts. It might not have always been known with this term, but it is certain that from one generation to another it has been informally transmitted a set of guidelines, comprehensive education and training of parents and caregivers. The shared priority has been children’s well-being and risk prevention. [14].

   Further encourages Member States to provide legal identity, including birth registration, in accordance with international law, including relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and/or relevant provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and death registration, as a means of, inter alia, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and access to benefits, including social protection. [15]

  In this regard, governments should invest in parenting education programs that address the different range of parenting needs and dimensions; empower parents and caregivers to continue to build on their good practices while enabling them to adopt others that will improve children’s health, development, learning and wellbeing and ensure they are protected.

   Also, make the well-being of parents, children and other caregivers’ the explicit objective of parenting policies and programmes, while investing in universal, positive parenting programs and services that are sensitive to the requirements of individual families and the different needs of mothers, fathers and other caregivers;

   Encourages Member States to invest in parenting education as a tool to enhance children’s well-being and prevent all forms of violence against children, including through promoting non-violent forms of discipline, and to ensure that parenting education programmes are inclusive of parents, grandparents and, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the children, maintaining a gender perspective throughout.[16]

 With a gender perspective in mind, efforts should be put into, recognizing the responsibility of men to families and encouraging their contribution, developing policies to address the absence of males/fathers on family well-being, and promoting active and present fatherhood;

   Also encourages Member States to establish policies that support all families in providing a nurturing environment, and in preventing and eliminating domestic violence and harmful practices, including female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage. [17]

  While providing a nurturing environment, parents and caregivers should recognize the valuable contribution of grandparents and other kins to parenting and invest in family policies and programs that promote strong intergenerational interactions, such as intergenerational living arrangements and parenting education in an effort to promote inclusive urbanization, intergenerational solidarity and social cohesion.

   Further encourages Member States to improve the collection and use of data, disaggregated by age, sex and other relevant criteria, for the formulation and evaluation of family-oriented policies and programmes to effectively respond to the challenges faced by families and harness their contribution to development. [18]

  In this regard, promote research on families and parenting, programmes evaluations and impact assessments of parenting policies and programs, so that the role of parents and their contribution to children’s wellbeing and social development can be better understood and supported by all stakeholders.

   Without leaving behaving the creation of an enabling participatory space to promote an environment for meaningful contributions of civil society organizations in the design, implementation and monitoring of family policies and programs, removing barriers to the establishment, work and funding of nongovernmental organizations.

Preparations for 2024

   Calls upon Member States, United Nations entities and relevant stakeholders to promote the preparations for the observance of the thirtieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2024 at the national, regional and international levels through practical initiatives, including family-oriented policies and programmes responding to the needs of all families. [19]

   Our Federation together with a group of transnational and regional organizations is fully involved with the Preparations for the 30th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family. A whole plan of action has been put into effect and in a joint effort to make the year 2024 a turning point for families around the world.

   Invites relevant stakeholders, as part of the preparations for the thirtieth anniversary of theInternational Year of the Family, to support research and awareness-raising activities at the national, regional and international levels on the impact of technological, demographic, urbanization, migration and climate change trends on families in order to harness their positive effects and mitigate their negative impacts. [20]

   We are committed to turning the Anniversary into a substantial and enriching discussion to bring the role of the family unit and policies towards social development into reality. In order to make every effort more effective, we are following the lead of the United Nations Secretary General to focus on four megatrends.

   For instance, the latest Focus Group organized in early 2021 on New Technologies and Families has produced some valuable recommendations for policymakers. Among those, policymakers should adopt a holistic approach when considering the experience and needs of all the various partakers in education, like children, parents, caregivers, teachers, institutions.

 Education and child-related professionals should promote open communication between parents and children about digital technology, including discussions about online risks and benefits. Further, they should encourage parents to engage with the platforms and media their children utilize as a means of understanding their children’s digital lives. [21]

   We are committed to continuing the organization of Regional Group Meetings, Focus Groups and Raise-Awareness events to enrich the proposals of a Civil Society Declaration in the making. The importance of experts active in a variety of fields related to families is the cornerstone of any substantial contribution together with good practices and advice funneled from the Civil Society Perspective.




[4], OP2

[5] Lofmarck 2014.

[6] Sheeran, Jones, and Rowe 2016.

[7] Akerjordet and Severinsson 2010.

[8], OP8

[9] Eurofound report ‘Living, working and COVID-19’, 2020.

[10] Opinion on Teleworking and gender equality. European Economic and Social Committee, 24 March 2021.

[11], OP3.

[12] Report. Preventing a lost decade. Urgent action to reverse the devastating impact of COVID-19 on children and young people, UNICEF INNOCENTI, 2021

[13], OP11


[15], OP12.

[16], OP14.

[17], OP15.

[18], OP16.

[19], OP4.

[20], OP5.

[21] Focus Group on Families and New Technologies – Outcome Publication, available at: