As part of measures to protect children and strengthen families, the Gender Ministry has introduced two major policies in the Child and Family Welfare Policy and Justice for Children Policy.
With these policies, families have a big role to play in protecting children which will also, in turn, promote the wellbeing of the family.
"We should all, therefore, strengthen our families, promote its education and wellbeing as the theme for this year’s celebration suggests," the Ministry said in a statement issued to mark International Day Of The Family, Monday.
The Department of Social Welfare has recorded an increase in juvenile delinquency in recent years, the Gender Ministry noted in its statement.
It said research has shown that a very high percentage of children who find themselves in conflict with the law come from broken homes.
"A lot of them grow with this habit and become threats to society. This situation would have been curtailed if the family was well organized and everybody played their roles as they should," it added in its statement.
Below is the statement;
STATEMENT BY THE GENDER MINISTER ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE FAMILY
The International Day of Families is observed on May 15, every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 to observe the importance of families.
The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Families, education and well-being”. The focus is on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members.
In particular, the Day is to raise awareness of the role of families in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth.
The Day highlights the importance of all caregivers in families, be they parents, grandparents or siblings and the importance of parental education for the welfare of children.
The family system plays a very important role in the life of everybody from birth to death. No one is born without a family. Families make children’s future. A family is the only place where children study a lot after school. Families teach children about habits, discipline which not only help them to find a job but also help them to live holistic lives in future. So the family is very important for children. Newborn babies see their parents first and thereafter spend most of their time with their families until they go to school.
Again the family is very important because it stays with us in any situation. This is one of the great advantages of family and none of us never realizes this at any time. You may have lots of friends or relations or office mates. They will definitely be with you in your happy times or any successful achievements. But, your parents or sisters or brothers are the only ones who will stay with you in your hard and difficult times.
Good and well-organized families make a better society. A good family is a great example of the whole society. Father, Mother, children all of whom have to work in order to build a perfect family. If any one of them failed then the whole family would collapse. This happens very much nowadays. The good name of the whole family could be ruined by the actions of a single member of the family.
Human beings have several emotional needs, the gratification of which is essential for mental as well as physical happiness. Everyone requires affection, understanding, feeling of a sense belonging, love, and so forth. The family offers you all of these.
The family system has witnessed some major changes across the world in recent decades. Fifty years ago the ‘normal’ family was the ‘nuclear’ family – a married couple with children. Since then changes to the family has meant that there are more different types of family today than ever before. We now have a variety of different types of family.
The main changes to the family have been grouped into three main categories. These are; changes to marriages, changes to partnerships and changes to children and families. Changes that occur is marriages are that fewer people are getting married, people are marrying later in life, and divorce rates have gone up.
Changes in partnerships are, more couples co-habiting, more same-sex couples which are now legally recognised in parts of the world. There are more people who prefer to live alone and not get married. Finally, changes that have occurred to children and families are; women now have fewer or no children, there are more births outside marriage, as a result of divorce and remarriages, there are more step families.
The changes in the family system outlined above have created a lot of problems for individuals home and abroad. In Ghana, 20 years back, people do not regard themselves as belonging to only the mother, and father. The extended family is what was regarded as a family. This was because of its size providing a lot of support to its members when in need. Examples can be cited of the situation when uncles had as an obligation to look after nieces and nephews. In this case, if the nephew’s parents are not capable financially, to care for their children, they will be taken care of throughout their education etc.
Parents regard their children a sort of insurance to care for them the future when they are weak and do not have any source of livelihood, their children would take care of them. In recent times, because of the changes in the family system, a lot of people suffer in their old age because there is no one to care for them, or if even there is, they are also busy caring for their nuclear family that is their wife and children. These old people end up in the homes for the aged and others in the Central Destitute infirmary.
We have seen and heard a number of times where caregivers have molested children. Some have led to their deaths and others living them with a lot of problems that affects them for the rest of their lives.
Current statistics by the Care Reform Initiative unit of the Department of Social Welfare have suggested that more than half the number of children in orphanages have parents or other family members who can take care of them. A high number of children are also there because of poverty. A lot of children on the streets today are there because of poverty. Twenty years back, poverty alone was not enough to send children to orphanages knowing the problems that may cause. The extended family system takes care of that.
The Department of Social Welfare has recorded an increase in juvenile delinquency in recent years. Research has shown that a very high percentage of children who find themselves in conflict with the law come from broken homes. A lot of them grow with this habit and become threats to society. This situation would have been curtailed if the family was well organized and everybody played their roles as they should.
As part of measures to strengthen families the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has come out with two major Policies (Child and Family Welfare Policy and Justice for Children Policy) where the family has a big role to play in protecting children which will also, in turn, promote the wellbeing of the Family. We should all, therefore, strengthen our families, promote its education and wellbeing as the theme for this year’s celebration suggests.