International Day of Families 2021: Theme And Significance Amid COVID-19



International Day of Families 2021: The pandemic expanded use of digital platforms

The International Day of Families is marked every year on 15th May. A United Nations-designated day, the International Day of Families, focuses on key issues central to the well-being of families across the world like health, education, children’s rights, gender equality, work-family balance and social inclusion among others. The coronavirus pandemic has suddenly pressed the pause button on the daily routine of people’s lives. Lockdowns forced families to stay at home. Schools have been closed and offices shut. Technology became the only way to stay in touch with friends and family. Tip-toeing in the virtual space seems to have become the dominant activity for many of us. New technologies are now the only way out.

Theme of International Day of Families 2021

The theme of this year’s International Day of Families is: Families and New Technologies. According to the background document of  this year’s theme, ”The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of digital technologies for work, education and communication. The pandemic has accelerated technological changes that had already been underway both in society and at work, including the expanded use of digital platforms and related technological innovations like cloud computing and the use of big data and algorithms…”.

Significance of International Day of Families 2021

This year’s International Day for Families focuses a lot on digital technology – both in urban and rural space. Here are a few important facts:

  1. Impact of digital technologies on children at different stages.
  2. As classrooms have become virtiual and remote learning has replaced teacher-student interactions, parents at home have a bigger role to play. 
  3. Enabling parents to do this without getting exhausted is also one of the key issues.
  4. Analysis of technology and its impact on families including equity, access, privacy and online safety.
  5. Digital literacy and disemination of information and awareness.
  6. Ensure mental and physical well-being of parents and children and, handling negative impacts of technology like screen fatigue and cyber security.

The International Day of Families was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993. The resolution reflects the importance global communities attach to families. The International Day of Families gives governments, non-profit organisations and other groups, working in the area, to promote awareness of issues relating to well-being of families.

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