For several years, and increasingly so in recent years, there has been a hijacking of the concept of the family and traditional values within local, regional and international arenas, including, at the UN. Such spaces are being increasingly occupied by right-wing forces and coalitions of religious groups, in majority Christian and Muslim groups, who promote messages based on conservative, static and ill-thought through notions of traditions and the family.
There is thus a strong need to develop counter arguments to provide to civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, political, diplomatic and religious leaders, for them to be better equipped to counter such argumentation. GIN members and partners are doing this in different spaces, at the local, regional and global levels. And GIN is looking at amplifying and coordinating this work, through regionally grounded seminar series on “Family and Traditional Values”.
This project thus aims to 1) help to reclaim the concept of the family and for promoting it at regional and global levels, including within the UN arena (research production), 2) The output produced will be used for the training of a GIN Speakers Bureau (training) 3) To speak and carry out advocacy work at regional and international events, including within the UN space (advocacy).
This project started in March 2017, with the support of Ford Foundation. GIN Secretariat has spent the first 6 months of the project schedule taking time to interview members and partners, research existing projects and develop the conceptualization of the project. In October 2017, we launched a first working group meeting, in Johannesburg, to lay out the core questions, address the main gaps and begin planning for the first seminar to take place in South Africa, in February 2018. In the coming weeks, we will set up an international working group to continue conversations, fine tuning of the project, and ensure strong coordination and collaboration between partners and members.