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This is a recent press release from the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) about International Day of Families which is celebrated on the 15th of May each year. This year’s theme is “Men in Charge? Gender Equality and Children’s Rights in Contemporary Families”.

The International Day of Families is celebrated on the 15th of May. This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of family issues and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic conditions affecting families. The theme for the International Day of Family 2015 is “Men in Charge? Gender Equality and Children’s Rights in Contemporary Families”. The IFHE supports the approach of the UN DESA, that “family laws govern family relations and seek to protect the vulnerable family members, including women, children and older persons. Fair family law frameworks are especially vital to ensure gender equality and tackle various forms of violence in families” (Background Note, IDF, 2015). Home Economists acknowledge the importance of gender equality in education, law, employment and business. All efforts towards gender equality such as legal frameworks encourage personal empowerment. The IFHE believes that women and men should have equal access to primary and higher education. This facilitates the development of empowerment to act responsibly for their families, women and young girls. Women should be given the tools, such as education and legal rights, to gain self-confidence and the ability to speak and act for themselves and for their children. In cultures and traditions where discrimination of women and girls prevails, men should be encouraged to act as reliable partners for women’s and children’s rights, their health and wellbeing. They should know about the link between the quality of life for women and children and the opportunity for sustainable economic and social development of their family and communities. The International Federation for Home Economics supports:

  • Improvements to women’s and children’s rights in national laws that remove gender inequality.
  • Actions that realise gender equality in families, economics and politics through access to education.
  • Empowering women to achieve self-determined actions for their wellbeing and that of their children.
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Reply to Culture is NOT Religion MJC Blog – Opinion written by Jay Deagon @ HomeEcConnect – 12 August 2012.

I believe that religion is a cultural artefact but I see where this blogger is coming from. Education about gender equality “starts with the parents” and abuse of women is often as a result of misrepresented culture and not religious traditions. Most religions honour the role of women – patriarchal culture often does not. What an insightful and welcome blog. Religion is a set of traditions but culture is a fluid and moveable thing. It is up to the individual how they interpret their religious traditions and enact them in their everyday lives. Religious traditions may not change but culture can be challenged and changed. Think of culture as rain pouring into a water tank that has had a closed and clogged tap or release valve. Human beings have the power to release the water. Maybe we all need to learn a little about plumbing – because our cultural water is going stagnant and poisonous with rotting debris and mosquito wrigglers. Let us do some constructive cultural plumbing and filter the water and unclog the tap. We can change the course of cultural by adding clarity. Clarity means education about quality and sustainable relationships that include respect for self, others, nature and other people’s religious and spiritual belief systems. Filter the water and open the tap to a more positive and constructive culturally defined identity for women built on mutual respect for human beings. Let the water from the tank run free and clear so we can nourish the dusty dry earth where women play a vital role in sustaining life. Key concept is respect for the Earth its land, air, water and creatures including our human family.

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