FNs internasjonale familiedag
Tema for årets familiedag er “Fedre og familier: ansvar og utfordringer”.
Budskapet fra FNs generalsekretær i anledning denne dagen understreker betydningen av familien som ramme s oppvekst og velvære.
MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES
15 May 2008
The theme for this year’s International Day of Families, “Fathers and Families:
Responsibilities and Challenges”, focuses on the important role fathers play in the lives of
families and children around the world.
Traditionally in many societies, fathers have been moral teachers, disciplinarians and
breadwinners. In many countries, there is now an increased emphasis on the father’s role as a
co-parent, fully engaged in the emotional and practical day-to-day aspects of raising children.
Recent research has affirmed the positive impact of active involvement by fathers in the
development of their children.
Yet challenges persist for fathers – and for society and social policy. Too many men
have difficulty assuming the responsibilities of fatherhood, often with damaging consequences
to families and inevitably society at large. Some fathers inflict domestic violence or even
sexual abuse, devastating families and creating profound physical and emotional scars in
children. Others abandon their families outright and fail to provide support. Researchers
continue to explore how the presence or absence of fathers can affect children, in areas such as school achievement and crime.
At the international level, migration forces many fathers to often face separation from
their families. Migrant fathers may encounter a starkly different concept of fatherhood in their
country of destination than what they knew in their home country – and may even be rejected
by their children as they grow up in a new society. The HIV/AIDS crisis challenges fathers
worldwide as it demonstrates the critical importance of sexual responsibility for fathers and all
men. The crisis also challenges men to become father figures to children who have been left
orphaned by the disease.
These challenges all highlight the deep and universal need for positive father figures in
families. As our understanding of fatherhood grows, there is an opportunity for men to
re-envision imaginatively what it means to be a father and to see opportunities to make a
difference in communities. On this International Day of Families, I call on fathers to honour
their families. I call on families to honour fathers for their important contributions to family
life. And I call on all of us to commit ourselves to building a social environment that
encourages and sustains a positive vision of fatherhood.