There is no greater issue to fathers than the need to be involved with their children, and the challenges of arranging their lives to meet that need. This is true of fathers whether they are part of a traditional two parent family, whether they are custodial single parents, or whether their children are in the primary custody of the mom.
To emphasize the need for both parents in the life of a child, the Childrens’ Rights Council each year sponsors Equal Parents’ Week in September. This year, the week of September 22-28 is Equal Parents’ Week.
The following description of Equal Parents’ Week comes from the Children's Rights Council:
Equal Parents' Week is a movement which sends the message that parental rights and responsibilities must be shared equally by both parents. The purple ribbon is the symbol which sends this message. People are urged to send this message by wearing purple ribbons and tying them everywhere they can be seen.
Equal Parents' Week is a civil rights movement. More than that, it is a human rights movement. Equal Parents' Week advocates that equality is not just a legal concept. The right of both parents to function as a parent, the right of children to be raised and nurtured by both parents, and the right of families to exist and function as a family, are rights inherent and inalienable to all families. The Equal Parents' Week mandate for equal parent status is a mandate for the time it takes to love, nurture, and teach our children our values the only way we can...a mandate for the ability to be a parent...and a mandate for justice.
We all need to care about what happens to parents and children when they walk into court We as a society all share the responsibility for creating a system which makes the principle "the best parent is both parents" a reality by embracing the civil rights that protect unmarried parents and their children individually, as well as their right to exist and function as a family. It is long overdue that we recognize that "the best interests of children" cannot be met unless we maximize the ability of both parents to raise and nurture their children and afford children the maximum parenting effort and involvement each parent is willing and able to contribute in raising their children.
Equality imputes values: civil rights, conscience, and responsibility. We all have a responsibility to keep families together by promoting a system that values and protects both parents Families will be in crisis until the unconditional love and sacrifice, the need for both parents and for families to continue to function as families, individual self-respect and respect among all family members, are lived by each of us, and promoted and protected by our laws and by every component of our local and national governments and justice systems.
Communities around the world will be holding candlelight vigils on September 23, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. local time. The Equal Parents’ Week website will have a listing of those vigils, and the Coalition invites all parents and children to participate. You may also want to contact a local Children's Rights Coalition chapter for more information. If there is not a community vigil in your area, the website also offers instructions for hosting your own home vigil at the same time.
Study after study shows that children are better off with the influence of two caring, loving parents in their lives. Celebrating Equal Parents’ Week will allow fathers around the world to send the message that we are committed to, where at all possible, helping achieve that goal in the lives of our kids.