The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), has concluded its Expert Group Meeting titled ‘Integrating a Family Perspective in the SDGs in the Arab countries: Aspirations and Challenges’.
The meeting, which took place from 29-30 November at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, was held in partnership with the Arab States Regional Office for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Through the event, DIFI successfully brought together a broad spectrum of academics, researchers, representatives of United Nations entities, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to explore the role, value, and feasibility of a “family perspective” towards achieving several sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets with emphasis on the goals supporting the welfare, protection, participation, and rights of individuals.
Ms. Noor Al Malki Al-Jehani, Executive Director, DIFI, thanked the participants for their valuable contributions, giving special thanks to the UNFPA: “I would like to extend our appreciation to our partner, the Arab States Regional Office for the UNFPA, who share a commitment to support the implementation of the SDGs. This Expert Group Meeting proposes the family lens as one way to shift the rhetoric from appreciating families, to prioritizing and integrating family policies into national and regional plans.”
Following two days of paper presentations and group discussions, the participants provided their expert analysis and policy recommendations on the contribution of families to the achievement of SDGs and on the challenges Arab countries face in integrating families in development strategies.
“Whether it’s for individual human beings or for families, the SDGs will ensure that people have access to basic human rights that will guarantee their welfare, and consequently the welfare of entire societies,” said Dr. Luay Shabaneh, UNFPA’s Director for the Arab region. “We believe in equality between men and women in all aspects of life, including inside a family, and call for the abandonment of social practices that perpetuate women’s position as secondary to men.”
The Expert Group Meeting concluded with an interactive session titled ‘The Road Ahead: Concrete Actions and Recommendations’, where participant recommendations were discussed.
DIFI, through its projects and initiatives, aims to highlight the importance of family issues in the Arab world and make them a priority for policy-makers on local, regional, and international levels.