The ‘Civil Society Statement on Parenting’ is initially the outcome of a meeting for civil society organizations hosted by the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation, in partnership with the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) on October 22, 2018. Raul Sanchez, Secretary General of ELFAC, attended the meeting bringing to the discussion the perspective from large families.
The meeting highlighted the role of parenting in contributing to sustainable development, while improving quality education and health outcomes. Under this overarching theme, several topics were discussed, including ways of promoting gender equality and shared responsibility at home; preventing the reproduction of families in vulnerable situations; promoting intergenerational solidarity and inclusive urbanization; and creating an enabling environment for a meaningful contribution of civil society organizations.
These subject areas align with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which acknowledges the right to start a family, where the family represents a basic and essential building block of society, and holds the primary responsibility for the nurturing, protection, and socialization of children. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, and the family should assume its responsibilities within the community.
It featured two sessions, including ‘Sharing of Experiences and Exchange on Promoting Parenting Support at National and Regional Levels,’ moderated by Noor Al Malki Al Jehani, Executive Director, DIFI. The second session, titled ‘Introducing Civil Society Statement on Parenting,’ was moderated by Ignacio Socias, Director of Communication, IFFD. The meeting also highlighted the importance of supporting parents by both government agencies and civil society organizations, whose efforts were praised by participants.
Participants included representatives from Focus on the Family Malaysia, Investing in Children and Their Societies, the Fathers in Africa, the World Family Organization, Ngala Parenting with Confidence, the International Federation for Home Economics, the European Large Families Confederation, and the Parents Forum.
The meeting was held ahead of DIFI’s two-day International Conference on Parenting, Child Wellbeing and Development on October 23-24, where the Statement was presented for the first time. Discussions during the Conference focused on programs that enhance parents’ skills and involvement in early childhood.
(In English, Arabic, French, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese)