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Families of the Future

It is graduation season in many countries, a time when classes of bright and fortunate young people don their caps and gowns, receive their diplomas, and hear advice from their elders. But there is a critical aspect to success and happiness that is often overlooked during these garlanded celebrations of academic achievement: family.

WASHINGTON, DC – It is graduation season in many countries, a time when classes of bright and fortunate young people don their caps and gowns, receive their diplomas, and hear advice from their elders. Some commencement speakers focus on the graduates’ accomplishments; others emphasize the career-related challenges that lie ahead. But there is another critical aspect to success and happiness that is often overlooked during these garlanded celebrations of academic achievement: family.

In fact, these ceremonies are about the graduates’ families – that is, those who have loved and supported them, regardless of their biological connection – as much as they are about the graduates themselves. Whatever each family’s experience, the result has been a child reaching a level of education of which many people can only dream.

Beyond noting and appreciating what their families have done for them, graduates must consider the kind of family that they want to nurture. And here they have no choice but to reflect on gender roles and relations.

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