The Sunday News
Austin Nyathi, Sunday News Correspondent
THE Government has urged State and private players to protect family units from forces threatening their existence, saying it was from families that nations were built.
Speaking during the belated commemoration of World Families Day in Sengezani in Gwanda District in Matabeleland South Province on Friday, Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Dr Sithembiso Nyoni said family institution should be protected from a number of challenges and threats that affect its existence and functioning. She said the family should be allowed to exist sustainably.
“The family unit faces a substantial number of challenges and threats that affect its existence and functioning. External social and economic pressures can lead to the breakdown of a family unit and in most cases ends up driving affected family members into dangerous activities such as drug abuse, sexual violence, early marriages, cross-generational relationships, domestic violence and mental health challenges,” she said.
Dr Nyoni said Government values the existence and important role that the family unit plays in the development of the nation.
“Chapter 2 in Section 25 of the National Constitution directs the State and all Government institutions and agencies to protect and foster family unity and to provide relevant assistance to family caregivers and to work to prevent domestic violence,” she added.
Minister Nyoni said various cultures across Zimbabwe place extreme importance to the family unit in its nuclear and extended forms and focuses on extended relaxation network that provides for its sustainability in varying circumstances.
Speaking during the same event, Matabeleland South’s Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Abednico Ncube, who was represented by the director infrastructure Mr Daniel Njowa, called on the province to work harder in preserving the family unit as it is important in shaping the future of generations.
“Although families all over the world have transformed greatly over the past decades in terms of their structure and as a result of global trends and demographic changes, the United Nations and the Government of Zimbabwe still recognise the family as the basic unit of society,” said Minister Ncube.
The International Day of Families came into being as a result of the United Nations Resolution 47/237 of 20 September 1993 and has been celebrated every year since 1994.
According to the resolution, the family unit is affirmed to be the natural and fundamental entity in society as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).