The theme of this year’s International Day of Families, which will be on 15 May, is “Men in Charge? Gender Equality and Children’s Rights in Contemporary Families”.
Across the globe, many countries either do not have laws to promote gender equality or have laws that directly discriminate against women. Marital rape, violence and the subjugation of women and girls are widespread. In addition, child marriage is prevalent — some 15 million girls are married before they are 18 every year.
Undue pressure is often placed on women to have children whether they want them or not. In some cultures, women gain societal recognition for giving birth to a large number of children — particularly sons. Conversely, women may lose stature and even be ostracized if they are unable or unwilling to have a large family.
Families come in all shapes and sizes. We believe there should be greater recognition for those who choose to have a small family — including those who remain childless.
Women should not be married until they reach adulthood and should be able to choose their own husband and limit their family size.