International Observance: Mark the global Day of Families

The UN International Day of Families 2011 examines social exclusion, economics and the resulting cycles of povertySUNDAY, MAY 15: Family and marriage are vital in most world religions—and today, global citizens of all faiths join to mark the UN’s International Day of Families. (Check out the official site here.) Today’s observance is about much more than spending time with your own family, although that’s important, too. The United Nations is calling on everyone in the community, children included, to focus on cycles of poverty and their impact on family life. By educating persons around the world about social exclusion and economic hardship—the theme of the 2011 observance—everyone has the potential to take action supporting struggling families. (Get the stats on economics and families at

Whether encouraging community activities that focus on healthy families, contacting local officials about family support programs, educating young people on home economics or simply helping a struggling family in the neighborhood—take action today!

In many world cultures, the family is viewed as the backbone of society: as the most vital hope for all generations, families are the structures that most often support the young and care for the elderly. This year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon examines those families most vulnerable to social exclusion and, therefore, limited access to equal employment, healthcare and education:

  • large families
  • single-parent families
  • families living in urban slums
  • families in rural areas
  • migrant families

Want to learn more? The International Federation for Home Economics has a press release on this year’s theme.

Originally published at, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.

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