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Progress of the World's Women 2019-2020

Families in a Changing World

image of Progress of the World's Women 2019-2020

The 2019 edition of Progress of the World’s Women is an extensive assessment of the reality of families today. The report brings together global, regional and national data, and in-depth analysis about core issues of concern, including family laws, income and employment, unpaid care work, violence against women, and families and migration, among others. This landmark report proposes a comprehensive agenda for laws, economic and social policies, and public action to ensure gender equality within families and to accelerate women’s rights and empowerment, which benefits us all.

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Why families? Why now?

The world over, families are a fundamental unit of society, one with enormous significance for individuals and also for economies. It is often through family relations that people share resources such as housing and income, look after those who are sick and frail, and reproduce, nurture and care for the next generation. Equally importantly, though less tangibly, family life is a common site of love and affection and is pivotal for women’s and men’s sense of identity, belonging and purpose. This is not to say that families are automatically benign or egalitarian. Nor are they isolated entities, able to sustain their members without supportive communities, markets and states. Social and cultural norms, laws, economic and social conditions, and public policies all contribute to and shape the rights and responsibilities of family members vis-à-vis one another, especially those who are married or in a union, as well as intergenerationally.

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