In resolution 47/237 of 20 September 1993, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 15 May of every year shall be observed as the International Day of Families. The theme for this year’s 2008 observance is “Fathers and Families: Responsibilities and Challenges”, which emphasizes the role of the father in the family and the important responsibilities and special challenges that accompany it
In many families and cultures, the roles and responsibilities of fathers with respectto their children has changed over time. In the extended family system, the responsibilityfor raising children often falls on many family members. Parenting is shared, children arecared for by several family members, and collective fatherhood is practiced. However,with the continuing shift from extended families to more nuclear families, parents aretaking on a more direct role in childrearing, and the influence of fathers on their childrentakes on added significance.
The internationally recognized importance of gender equality and an increasednumber of women, including mothers, participating in the labour force have also broughtabout changes in the expected responsibilities of men and fathers. In many cultures, thereis now an increased emphasis on the father as co-parent, fully involved and activelyparticipating in both the emotional and practical day-to-day aspects of childrearing.
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