Commemorating the 23rd International Day of Families, a special forum at the Bicameral Chamber of the Congress of the Republic of Paraguay examined the central role of family in society. More than 200 senior officials and advisors from 33 governmental institutions attended the event organized by Global Peace Women Paraguay entitled, “Social Transformation from the Family,” on May 17. Distinguished attendees included national senators Dr. Arnoldo Wiens and Dr. Blanca Ovelar, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Herminio Lobos and Ms. Aidé Carmagnola de Aquino from the Supreme Court of Justice.
International Day of Families, an official United Nations International Day, recognizes the family as the center of social life, a place of care and protection for young and old, and the primary source of education and socialization. “This day reflects the significance that the international community gives to the family as the basic unit of society,” Ms. Jae Soon Cristina Field, International Director of Global Peace Woman for Latin America, observed. “The family is at the heart of socio-cultural transformation.”
Yet conflict, natural disasters, economic hardship as well as changing social structure and migration have placed new pressures on the family. Ms. María Esther Jiménez, President of Global Peace Women Paraguay, urged participants to use the forum as a platform for analysis, reflection and consensus building aimed at developing policy that would comprehensively support and strengthen the family. Lic. Sonia Brucke, Technical Director of the Legislative Commission on Equity and Gender of the Senate moderated the sessions.
Dr. Arnoldo Wiens Dürksen, a member of the National Senate of Paraguay said, “To be a good politician, you have to be good citizen. And to be a good citizen, you must be a good person. A good person is formed in the family. Just as the family is, so is the nation.” He noted that strengthening the family is synonymous with strengthening the country.
Lic. Susana González, Member of Group Curriculum Research Chair in Higher Education, called the family a “small nation” where the character of the children of the community are formed. “The family remains the medium in which the next generation will grow and will be formed,” she said. Lic. González described how skills like forgiveness, cooperation and open-mindedness are first learned in relationships in the family.
The forum recognized economic, social and environmental changes that have taken a toll on the family, but also garnered a commitment from participants to continue discussing and building consensus around essential principles in order to advance legislation and public policy in support of the family.
Event Photo Gallery