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UN International Day of Families 2010

Day of Families Celebrated in Freetown

Freetown, Sierra Leone - The UN International Day of Families was celebrated in the Hall of the National School of Nursing in Freetown on May 15. Mrs. Fatu Kargbo, chair of the event, welcomed the audience and described the history of the UN International Day of Families. UPF President, Ms. Alice M.Kamara, talked about UPF's work to strengthen families.

Dr. Philip Conteh, Executive Director of Attitudinal and Behavioral Change, read a statement from the office of the president. Other speakers included the United Nations Population Fund Country Director Madam Isatu Kajue, and Mr. Patrick Vandi, representing the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.

The event had live coverage on the national television and radio. A journalist offered to publish a report in his newspaper.

During the event, various speakers gave short statements that included suggestions for strengthening the family. The key recommendations were as follows:

  1. In African society, we should stop discriminating against girl children, for example in  education.
  2. We should stop discriminating against women politically, economically, and socially.
  3. We should recognize each other as brothers and sisters beyond our political, social, and religious differences.
  4. We should remove all laws that discriminate against our fellow human beings.
  5. In the African setting, we should stop discrimination that keeps women from inheriting property after they are married. That is, women have right to family property.
  6. We should encourage dialogue and deliberations in the family.
  7. We should increase harmony and mutual understanding between husband and wife so they can best fulfill their family obligations.
  8. Rights to representation, freedom, autonomy, participation, and decent treatment combined with empowerment will produce positive, lasting change. For example, 30 percent of key positions in the parliament, cabinet, etc., should be occupied by women.
  9. The notion of human security should resonate strongly with the family.

Note: For the text of Mr. Vandi's presentation, click here.

For more information about UPF chapters' celebrations of the International Day of Families, click

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