DIFI & Executive Bureau Organize First Gulf Family Policy Forum

The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), organized the first ‘Gulf Family Policy Forum’, in cooperation with the Executive Bureau of the Council of Ministers of Labor and Ministries of Social Affairs in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States. The Forum was convened virtually via Zoom on Monday, November 15, and featured the presence of GCC State representatives whose specialty is family matters.

During the sessions, entitled ‘Marriage Relationships and Pre-marital Education Programs’ and ‘Flexible Work Arrangements Post-COVID-19’, the Forum discussed the dimensions of urgent issues facing families in the Gulf States, support related policies and programs can provide and pre-marital education programs applied in the GCC nations. It also reviewed the flexible work policies and arrangements put in place in the aftermath of the global pandemic.

‘The First Gulf Forum for Family Policies’ featured the noteworthy participation of directors and staff from departments concerned with family issues in the ministries of social development affairs in GCC States and affiliated centers, as well as representatives of authorities involved with household affairs in these countries.

The attendees praised this joint Gulf initiative, which constitutes a platform convening policy makers, specialists and civil society. They additionally considered it an opportunity to exchange experiences and enhance aspects of cooperation in Gulf family affairs.

The participants made several recommendations pertaining to pre-marital education programs and making them compulsory; including family-related material in curricula; and maintaining flexible working arrangements in the post-pandemic era, in hopes that these recommendations constitute a roadmap to enhance the status, cohesion and protection of families in the Gulf. They further proposed holding this Forum on an annual basis, so that it represents a joint Gulf initiative to expand the base of partners working on the wellbeing and solidity of GCC State families.