In honor of the UN Day of the Family, UPF and WFWP Norway came together to hold a conference to bring to light current issues involving the family.
Steinar Murud, leader of UPF Norway, was MC and gave the background history of the day. The first speaker, Maria Sammut representing the Catholic Church, spoke about the church’s project, “The Year of the Family 2014.” Even though the project is meant to be an internal project, the experiences Sammut shared were easy to relate to. She pointed out the family’s unique roles in society, in the church, as a place for human development, and as a promoter of faith and values. Turid Noack, a senior researcher at Statistics Norway, then spoke about how the family is doing today statistically. Today’s family life is characterized by more variation in relationship types, more frequent breakups, and more of both coupled and single periods throughout one’s life.
After a coffee break with delicious home baked goodies, Professor Frode Thuen gave his thoughts on the challenges and possibilities in family and relationships. He spoke warmly of the benefits of being in a couple relationship. Thuen also presented the results of a Norwegian survey on the consequences of divorce on children. Most of them are okay but as a group they suffer more than others. To facilitate that couples who need help can get it and to lower the threshold for seeking such help can be a task for our Department of Children and Equality.
The family constitutes an important part of the foundation our society stands upon and has functions that no state can take over. We hope that this marking of the UN Day of the Family can contribute to the positive development of all couples and families in Norway.