written by Catherine Williams – Global Youth Advocate at the UN Millennium Campaign

May 15 is the official UN International Day of Families, a day that emphasizes the international community’s importance of family needs. This year’s theme is “Men in Charge? Gender Equality and Childrens’ Rights in Contemporary Families”. A panel discussion organizied by UNDESA-DSPD will be held that day from 1:15-2:45 at UN HQ Conference Room 12. The panel will focus on men’s roles in supporting gender equality in context of the family. Patrick Parkinson, Law Professor at the University of Sydney, will moderate the panel and presentations will include themes such as:

“Changing families around the world: The American family in a global context” Frank Furstenberg, Zellerbach Family Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

“Gender and equality in Muslim family law” Marwa Sharafaldin, Women’s rights activist & Board Member, Musawah (The Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family) International Advisory Group)

“Gender equality and children’s rights in family laws: An African perspective” Fareda Banda, Professor of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

“Family violence prevention in South Asia with a focus on India” Srimati Basu, Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Kentucky


The 2015 focus on this day will also highlight prevention of family violence through fair family law frameworks and a variety of programme interventions. These themes of violence and gender equality are critical for creating truly sustainable post-2015 goals and are a big focus of the World We Want campaign. The focus on men brings to light men’s roles in taking charge of a more feminist world and the need for those roles to be understood and actualized for a more equal world and home. Equality starts in the home and one way men can contribute to a more equal world is making sure that equality is reflected in their family roles. The discussions will provide global perspectives on the importance of these issues in their countries and how they can be achieved in those cultures.

You can follow @UNDESADSPD @WorldWeWant2015 for more information and join the discussion on twitter using the hashtags: #Action2015 #ForPeople #DayofFamilies

Check out the data on family and find out more about the peoples voices coming from the global conversation via worldwewant2015.org


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