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Family is key to improve women’s lives

Commission on the Status of Women stresses importance of family; ADF International welcomes fresh approach at the United Nations


NEW YORK – Is the status of women really improving across the world? Last week, the United Nations’ 61st Commission on the Status of Women tried to answer this question. On 24 March, the delegates adopted an agreement stressing the importance of the family as a general key factor influencing the well-being of women. Amongst other things, the document highlighted that for women “an enabling family environment (…) contributes to development.”

The family is the key to a good life

“The family is the key to a good life. International law recognizes it as the natural and fundamental group unit of society, which is entitled to protection by society and the state. Different to prior years, the Commission on the Status of Women has acknowledged the social significance of the traditional family. This is an important development for many UN Member States that still hold on to the concept of the family as the fundamental building block of society; a fact that in the past the Commission had often deliberately tried to undermine,” said Kelsey Zorzi, UN Counsel for ADF International, who was present during the discussions.

Recognition of motherhood and fatherhood

The Commission called for strengthening “laws and regulatory frameworks that promote the reconciliation and sharing of work and family responsibilities for women and men.” To improve the lives of women around the globe, Member States should design, implement, and promote “family responsive legislation.” The Commission also discussed the issue of learning. It wants to “ensure that pregnant adolescents and young mothers, as well as single mothers, can continue and complete their education.”

“Focusing governmental policies on the family may become a decisive factor for improving the living conditions of girls and women. Member States have largely recognized the importance of motherhood and fatherhood. Nobody should underestimate the role of parents in the upbringing of children,” added Zorzi.

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