Abuja- A coalition of NGOs has called on governments to improve the family in the sustainable development agenda to achieve the new Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The NGOs include: IFFD, nttoKAI, MARKAFED, ISTITUTO TEVERE and Kimse Yok Mu.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of the 2014 International Family Conference III made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
The communique was signed by Huseyin Hurmali, the Vice President, Journalists and Writers Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey.
It said the conference appraised researched paper presentation from 17 speakers representing 13 different countries on issues relating to the family as a natural and fundamental group unit of societies.
The document said presentations focused on family and law; family and work as well as family and poverty through regional practices as the main underlying issues of the presentations.
It said at the end of the conference, 10 recommendations were made and outlined in a communique to conclude the conference with the theme: “International Family Policies’’.
The recommendations read: “Mainstream the family in the sustainable development agenda and take into account that the achievements of the new Development Goals depend on how well families are empowered to contribute to their achievement.
“Family policies should always take into consideration the empowerment of women within the family, especially in their integration into the labour market;
“Make sure that the law always respects the rights of every member of the family to be part of the decision process within the family;
“Make sure that reproductive technologies do not violate the basic rights of all parts of the family involved;
“Respect every nation’s peculiarities as long as they don’t violate the international conventions and treaties; and promote mutual understanding between different societies;
“Never force women to make a choice between work and family commitments; therefore consider the cost of maternal leave and in-kind services and tax benefits as investment for the society;
“Build a legal framework in which the private sector doesn’t get extra cost when members of their staff receive maternal leave and the woman has the guarantee to keep her job after such leave;
“Ensure the universal accessibility and quality of early child education;
“Ensure that young generations get the skills to find a way to integrate into society and start a family through a proper job; and
“Ensure that families are not replaced in their duties, but supported and made accountable for the help they get from society.’’
The communique also said participants stressed the need for women’s equal participation in employment; shared parental responsibility and respect of the rights of children to be the essentials of family policies.
They urged societies to acknowledge that family policies and laws were more effective when targeting the family unit rather than each one of its members.
The NGOs noted that balancing work and family life would help parents to be co-responsible in their tasks, and that empowering families would help to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty.
NAN reports that the conference was held to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family designated by the United Nations.
The conference is held every quarter either in Istanbul, Turkey or Geneva, Switzerland.
The 2014 edition of the conference was organised by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) and JWF Women’s Platform. (NAN)