Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Government and church make August 2 the day to focus on the family

3103 Edition
Government and church make August 2 the day to focus on the family
August 15-21, 2011 Headline News Reported by Lin Yi-ying Written by Lydia Ma
Earlier this year, both the Legislative Yuan and PCT General Assembly passed a motion to make every second Sunday of August “Blessed Family Day”. The proposal was first brought up by former PCT General Secretary C.M. Kao, who cited statistics indicating that about 157 couples divorce every day in Taiwan. He added that such figures placed Taiwan as the country with the second highest number of divorces in Asia. In addition, Kao said that roughly 52 children are sexually or physically abused at home every day and 300,000 to 400,000 babies are aborted every year in Taiwan.
These staggering numbers prompted Kao, Liberty Times CEO Wu A-ming, and A.S.O. Shoes chain store CEO Lo Shuei-mu to co-sponsor a new ministry focusing on happy and healthy marriages and families. The ministry first began by lauding couples who were married for more than 45 years and encouraging them for being role models. In recent years, it began to build partnerships and expand beyond Taiwan to other countries.
These renown leaders also lobbied and obtained support from local governments in designating a “Blessed Family Day” on every second Sunday of August. So far, more than a dozen cities and counties in Taiwan have passed this motion.  Asked about their vision for establishing “Blessed Family Day”, these organizers said that many fathers in Taiwan were absent from the lives of their children because they worked very hard and were very ambitious. They quoted a renowned magazine in Taiwan that’had conducted a survey and found that about 63% of Taiwanese fathers had indicated they often had to sacrifice their families on the altar of a successful career. Moreover, more than 70% of women polled said they felt a great deal of inequality when it comes to who did household chores or took care of the children. For this reason, about 37% of Taiwanese women don’t want to get married.
Another reason why August is a good time of the year to celebrate “Blessed Family Day” is because August 8 is Father’s Day in Taiwan and Valentine’s Day in the Lunar Calendar typically falls in August as well. Hence, reinforcing the theme of family to the celebration of love and fathers not only adds momentum to this day, but also helps remind people to nurture their marital and family relationships.

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