GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government today celebrated State Level Family Day for the first time with such significance to recognise families form the basic building blocks to a prospering, stable and happy society.
Penang Women, Family, Gender and Non-Islamic Religion committee chairman Chong Eng said the family as an institution contributes greatly to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the people and the Penang state has given this priority and careful attention in its administration.
“For the first time in the state’s calendar we are officially celebrating Family Day . This celebration also aims to create a space for family members to spend precious moments together to foster and enhance bonds among each other. More importantly, it also serves as a reminder for parents to give time for their children who need them the most,“ she said in her speech at the ceremony here today officiated by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Chong said as parents to their children, it is family responsibility to educate, support and motivate them so that the children are empowered and confident to live their dreams.
“Start with gender inclusiveness at home. It is a practice that ensures every family decision made, big or small, takes into account the needs and expectation of every family members, not just from the “head of the family” because of its prominence in everyday life, creating gender inclusive environments, in which everyone is welcome, is critical for the success of our children in their lives,“ she said.
Chong added, in order for home environments to become truly gender inclusive, it requires families to take responsibility for the aspirations of their children.
“For example, allow girls to reach out if their dream is to become a pilot, and allowing boys to reach out if their dream is to be male nurses. Both are notable professions that parents can support,“ she said.
Meanwhile Chong said in realizing vision Penang 2030 “A Family-focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation”, Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC) had recently held a strategic planning meeting to map out their alignment in meeting the already set targets as well as setting new ones.
“Four areas of focus identified are in Leadership, Economy, Policy, and last but not least in Family. The reason PWDC has included Family as an area of focus is the strong belief that “Women are the backbone of the family and the bedrock of a nation”. Thus women, together with men, are instrumental in the development of this country,“ she said.
At the family day event, many programmes were conducted including two sessions of interactive activities, two sessions of forums for two generations and two sessions of storytelling in four languages. — Bernama