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  May, 2009 - UN International Day of Families
   
 

Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary General

   
 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES
15 May 2009

This year’s International Day of Families, being commemorated under the theme, “Mothers and Families: Challenges in a Changing World,” focuses on the important role of mothers for families and communities around the world.

Mothers play a critical role in the family, which is a powerful force for social cohesion and integration. The mother-child relationship is vital for the healthy development of children. And mothers are not only caregivers; they are also breadwinners for their families. Yet women continue to face major – and even lifethreatening – challenges in motherhood.

Childbirth, which should be a cause for celebration, is a grave health risk for too many women in developing countries. Improving maternal health is the Millennium Development Goal on which the least progress has been made. A woman in a least developed country is 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related
complications than a woman in a developed country. We must make pregnancy and
childbirth safer by enabling health systems to provide family planning, skilled attendance
at birth and emergency obstetric care.

Violence against women, many of whom are mothers, remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time. It has far-reaching consequences – endangering the lives of women and girls, harming their families and communities, and damaging the very fabric of societies. Ending and preventing violence against women should be a key priority for all countries.

We must also ensure universal access to education. The benefits of educating women and girls accrue not only to individual families but to whole countries, unlocking the potential of women to contribute to broader development efforts. Statistics also show that educated mothers are much more likely to keep their children in school, meaning that the benefits of education transcend generations.

As we strive to support mothers in their caregiving work, we should develop and expand family-friendly policies and services, such as child care centres, that would reduce some of the workload placed on women. Women and men alike need stronger public support to share equally in work and family responsibilities. Families built on the recognition of equality between women and men will contribute to more stable and productive societies.

We face multiple challenges in our changing world, but one factor remains constant: the timeless importance of mothers and their invaluable contribution to raising the next generation. By rewarding their efforts and enhancing their living conditions, we can secure a better future for all.

 
 
     
     
 
     
 
  Previous Editions
   
 
Editorial: November 2010
Editorial: September 2010
Editorial: May 2010
Editorial: April 2010
Editorial: February 2010
Editorial: January 2010
Message: January 2010
Message: December 2009
Editorial: December 2009
Editorial: September 2009
Editorial: August 2009
Editorial: June 2009
Message: June 2009
Message: May 2009
Editorial: April 2009
Editorial: March 2009
Editorial: February 2009
Editorial: January 2009
Message: December 2008
Editorial: May 2008
Editorial: January 2008
Editorial: November 2007
Editorial: April 2007
Editorial: March 2007
Editorial: February 2007
Message: May 2006 - International Day of the Family
Editorial: April 2006
Editorial: December 2005
Editorial: August 2005
Editorial: May 2005
Editorial: February 2005
Editorial: November 2004
Editorial: Septermber 2004
 
     
     
 
     
 
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