On the International Day of Families (IDF), celebrated with the theme "Men in charge? Gender equality and children's rights in contemporary families" on May 15, UN chief Ban Ki-moon in his message said that it was the time to change social norms that support male control over women and reinforce discrimination against vulnerable family members.
According to Ban, equitable social and economic development depends on fair legal frameworks that support the rights of women and children.
"Discriminatory laws and practices that do not give equal rights to all, and that suppress women's and children's rights, have no place in contemporary families, communities, societies and nations," added Ban. He urged people to change legal and social norms that support male control over women, reinforce discrimination and prevent the elimination of violence against vulnerable family members.
Ban was of the view that discrimination and neglect often led to violence, threatening women's and children's health and limiting their chances to complete education and fulfill their potential. "This cycle tends to continue into the next generation, as children experiencing violence are more likely to resort to violence in their adult lives," he added urging people to break this cycle by subscribing for equity.
Marked worldwide, IDF highlighted the importance of gender equality and children's rights in contemporary families as more and more women are recognized as equal partners and decision-makers. The observance was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with an am to reflect the importance of family as the primary unit of society wherein equity needed to be strengthened.