International Day of Families: “Embracing Diversity, Strengthening Families”

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The United Nations (UN) continues to assert that the family constitutes the basic unit of society. Nevertheless, the concept has evolved in recent decades, adapting to global trends and demographic shifts. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a family is defined as a group of individuals residing under the same roof, fulfilling specific roles (father, mother, siblings, etc.).

In 1947, the term “nuclear family” was first coined by the Cambridge Dictionary, defining it as a unit consisting of a mother, a father, children, excluding uncles and aunts, cousins or grandparents. This family arrangement, regarded – and valued – as a model promoting the independence and maturity, both economically and emotionally, of new generations, gradually replaced the extended family based on cohabitation and intra- and intergenerational relationships, including both solidarities and tensions.

Since the mid-20th century, the ideal family has been projected and represented by the image of the nuclear family, comprising a father, a mother and their offspring which has been widely exported and adopted by non-Western societies and cultures.

Embracing Diversity: The Family You Choose
When we think of family, we often think of the people we’re related to by blood or marriage. But the truth is, family is so much more than that. It’s the people who are there for us through thick and thin, who support us, love us, and accept us for who we are. Build a more inclusive and compassionate world and recognize that every family has its own strengths and challenges and that we can learn from and support each other in ways that make a real difference.

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Today, on the International Day of Families, we’re celebrating the diversity of families all around the world and recognizing that families come in all shapes and sizes and that tolerance plays a pivotal role in embracing this diversity and fostering an inclusive and respectful co-habitation among family members. Nevertheless, recognizing and addressing intolerable living arrangements is equally crucial to ensuring the well-being and safety of family members. A commitment to tolerance, understanding, and responsible cohabitation is indispensable in building and preserving cohesive and harmonious families and communities.

Today, May 15th, marks the International Day of Families, a day to honor the diverse and vibrant fabric of families around the world. This year’s theme, “Embracing Diversity, Strengthening Families,” reminds us that families come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations and that this diversity is a strength to be celebrated.

Happy International Day of Families!

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