International Day of Families 2021: Date, Theme, Activities, Significance

May 15 is celebrated as International Day of Families all across the globe. The objective behind the celebration of this day is to promote the awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families.

What is Family?

Humans are social organisms. Living collectively in interacting populations is an essential universal attribute of our lifestyles. The classical definition of family is the group of people who share common ancestors. Family is the fundamental unit of any society. It is an integral aspect of our societal structure. The primary goal of a family is to nurture its members along with maintaining integration with society. A family is conventionally composed of two parents bringing up their children. Nevertheless, the composition of family changes across culture and with time.

History of International Day of Families

Strong familial bonds serve as the core strength of a societal structure. Understanding and appreciating the importance of families in developmental progress and in general, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring observance of May 15 as International Day of Families in 1993. The purpose behind this declaration was to constructively counter those economic and social scenarios which have been adversely affecting the structural framework of families in various parts of the world. Thus, the International Day of Families is being officially observed every year since 1994. The theme decided for the year 1994 was “Family: resources and responsibilities in a changing world” and its motto was “Building the Smallest Democracy at the Heart of Society”.

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Symbol of International Day of Families

An image in red representing a heart within a house against a solid green circular background symbolizes the International Day for Families. The symbol represents the family as the center of society ensuring a safe-supportive environment for people of all ages.

international day of families

Theme of International Day of Families 2021

Every year, the International Day of Families is celebrated around a theme decided by the United Nations. The theme chosen for this year’s observance is “Families and New Technologies”. Year 2021 marks the 26th anniversary of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development (1995) and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). The former emphasized on putting people at the center of development and the latter proved to be a turning point for the global agenda for gender equality.

Themes of Previous Years

  • 2020: “Families in Development: Copenhagen & Beijing + 25”
  • 2019: “Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG 13”
  • 2018: “Families and inclusive societies”
  • 2017: “Families, education and well being”
  • 2016: “Families, healthy lives and sustainable future”
  • 2015: “Men in charge? Gender equality and children rights in contemporary families”
  • 2014: “Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals; International Year of the Family + 20”
  • 2013: “Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity”
  • 2012: “Ensuring work-family balance”
  • 2011: “Confronting Family Poverty and Social Exclusion”
  • 2010: “The impact of migration on families around the world”

International Day of Families 2021

As this observance had been officially declared by the United Nations, the main International events on this day are organized by the UN itself along with the Universal Peace Federation. This year is a little different though due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, most events have been shifted to virtual platforms.

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How to celebrate the International Day of Families 2021?

Year 2021 is an unusually difficult year for most of us. We are all witnessing a pandemic of this scale for the first time in our lives. Nevertheless, these tough days also bring with it a plethora of opportunities. It is like a blessing in disguise. It has also taught us to value the smallest of privileges we have. One of those privileges is the time we have got to spend with our family. Celebrate this International Day of Families by cherishing these moments of being together. Whether it be playing games, watching movies or cooking together- everything becomes an occasion when relished with family! Isn’t It?

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