The upcoming 2014 is the year of the family, that's what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says:
“The family is the basis of society, and the connection between generations helps to preserve the memory about this for decades. This year's international day of families will give us the opportunity to glorify the relationships that exist between all the members of this wonderful education-family. In addition, it will enable us to consider how changes in socio-economic phenomena affect families and their members, and what responses we might take to strengthen the family”.
Talking about family, we should not forget about some issues concerning the topic. For instance, ensuring the work-family balance. Further we take a closer look at this side of the family`s question.
Work-family balance lies at the core of the ability of the family to provide economically and emotionally for its members. A variety of strategies that help families to cope with work and family responsibilities is being used around the world. In the majority of developing countries, however, reconciliation of work and family life policies competes with a large number of development priorities. Moreover, access to work-family balance support systems is chiefly in the formal and regulated labor markets while many workers in the informal sector face not only family-unfriendly but also dangerous work environments. Global employment protection is then needed to secure better working conditions, especially for poor working families.
Work-family balance policies also demonstrate Governments commitment to the well-being of families and employers’ social responsibility and contribute to successful labor relations, employee health and well-being, gender equality and child welfare. It is important to share knowledge about good practices in work-family balance being implemented and advocated for by Governments, private sector, civil society and academic institutions. Promoting professional support and advice and efforts to create a more family-friendly culture in the workplace are equally important. Wide-ranging consultation and partnerships between employers, trade unions and employees to promote better understanding of the importance of work-family reconciliation is strongly encouraged to improve the well-being of families worldwide.
Previous attempts to resolve the issue
According to statistics, average length of the working week in Europe - 41.7 hours, while the family is paid a total of 29 hours. So, this problem not once was raised at sessions of the UN. In 1993 a resolution (A/RES/47/237) on the question of work – family balance was adopted by the UN General Assembly. The International Day of Families, which is observed on the 15th of May every year, was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly resolution and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
Also no less an important point of the issue is the involvement of women in the social life of the country. In different countries there is different social activity of women. It depends on the degree of development of the State economy, traditions and its mentality. In LEDC women, for the most part, are socially active. Therefore men build the policy of the country. This model of society is not exemplary, as proven, that the participation of women in politics is very important. However, in MEDC, women occupy in society is essential. Here may be changing the look of the family: a woman is not a custodian of the hearth, she brings the basic income of the family, which is not good for the upbringing of children; may be same-sex marriages that are legal in a number of countries now.
1. In order to establish a balance between work and family we need to improve the laws of the countries. Many countries in Europe already have this experience (under this point we have in mind that in many Europe countries men have the right to take a sick leave for paternity or maternity leave);
2. Create programs that extend the capabilities combining work and family. For example, to improve the conditions for the development of family business;
3. Promote ideas: do not forget about family, working and do not forget about work, taking care of the family;
4. Develop the network of kindergartens, including encouraging owners of commercial nurseries, to uphold the rights of the child;
5. Create programs of social support for single mothers and women who raise children on their own (note the difference of these notions);
To sum up, considering the topic, it is necessary to proceed from the interests of the individual, his rights and desires. Every person decides for himself what is more important to him personally: family or work. Therefore, this issue should be addressed at the State level.