Families have been urged to avoid divorce, streetism and child neglect if the country is to achieve sustainable social and economic development.
The call is from community develoment and social services catherine Namugala.
Ms Namugala says there is need for everyone to treasure and preserve the family as a basic unit of a stable and strong nation.
The minister was speaking when she officiated at this year’s commemoration of the International Day of the Family in Lusaka today under the theme ‘Fathers and Families: Responsibilities and Challenges.”
Ms Namugala said the theme was appropriate in view of the crucial role fathers are supposed to play in caring and providing for their families.
She noted with concern that although some fathers are in gainful economic activities, they do not take care of their families but instead abuse them emotionally and physically.
Ms Namugala said fathers should get involved in all domestic chores such as what the children will eat, their school work and escorting their wives to antenatal clinic.
The minister hoped that through the commemoration of this day, all stakeholders including government, religious groups and individuals will promote and carry out programmes on the family that stress the specific role of fathers for the betterment of the family and the nation as a whole.
She said on its part, government has put in place policies and programmes aimed at enabling families to effectively functuion.
The programmes include micro-finance, the public welafre assistance scheme, social cash transfer, food security pack and social security schemes.
Ms. Namugala noted that the problem of child delinquency and children taking to the street is partly as a result of the missing role of fathers.
The minister pointed out that the theme seeks to highlight the importance of fathers in the context of development because fathers are critical in establishment of stable families needed for national development.
She added that the institution of family is the first and most important socializing institution where shelter and security is to be found when facing difficulties in life.
She urged fathers to ensure that they get involved in all matters pertinent to family and not leave all family matters to the women folk.
And Speaking earlier at the flag-off march past at the main Lusaka post office, Deputy minister in the ministry of community development and social services Elijah Muchima said some fathers fail to provide adequately for their families not because they cannot afford to but because of irresponsible behavior.
Mr. Muchima observed that instead of spending the money on the welfare of the family certain fathers engage themselves in unnecessary expenditures and the family in the end suffers.
He challenged the people who gathered at the flag-off ceremony to ensure that there is solidity in their families as this is key to national development.
Meanwhile, Morgan Chilufya 32, father of two said it is unfortunate that some fathers chose to neglect their families for unnecessary activities which cause families to suffer.