About the Day
The Global Day of Parents is observed on the 1st of June every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 with resolution A/RES/66/292 and honours parents throughout the world. The Global Day provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.
In its resolution, the General Assembly also noted that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children and that children, for the full and harmonious development of their personality, should grow up in a family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.
The resolution recognizes the role of parents in the rearing of children and invites Member States to celebrate the Day in full partnership with civil society, particularly involving young people and children.
Parents of every race, religion, culture and nationality in all parts of the world are the primary caregivers and teachers of their children, preparing them for a happy, fulfilling and productive life. Parents are the anchors of the family and the foundation of our communities and societies.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child expressly recognizes that parents have the most important role in the bringing up children. The text encourages parents to deal with rights issues with their children "in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child" (article 5). Parents, who are intuitively aware of their child's level of development, will do this naturally. The issues they discuss, the way in which they answer questions, or the discipline methods they use will differ depending on whether the child is 3, 9 or 16 years of age.
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.
At the international level, migration forces many fathers to often face separation from their families.
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.
Mothers play a critical role in the family, which is a powerful force for social cohesion and integration. The mother-child relationship is vital for the healthy development of children. And mothers are not only caregivers; they are also breadwinners for their families. Yet women continue to face major -- and even life-threatening -- challenges in motherhood.
Childbirth, which should be a cause for celebration, is a grave health risk for too many women in developing countries. Improving maternal health is the Millennium Development Goal on which the least progress has been made. A woman in a least-developed country is 300 times more likely to die in childbirth, or from pregnancy-related complications, than a woman in a developed country. We must make pregnancy and childbirth safer by enabling health systems to provide family planning, skilled attendants at birth and emergency obstetric care.
Violence against women, many of whom are mothers, remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time. It has far-reaching consequences -- endangering the lives of women and girls, harming their families and communities, and damaging the very fabric of societies. Ending and preventing violence against women should be a key priority for all countries.
We must also ensure universal access to education. The benefits of educating women and girls accrue not only to individual families, but to whole countries, unlocking the potential of women to contribute to broader development efforts. Statistics also show that educated mothers are much more likely to keep their children in school, meaning that the benefits of education transcend generations.
As we strive to support mothers in their caregiving work, we should develop and expand family-friendly policies and services, such as childcare centres that would reduce some of the workload placed on women. Women and men, alike, need stronger public support to share equally in work and family responsibilities. Families built on the recognition of equality between women and men will contribute to more stable and productive societies.
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