Hala Al-Qahtani

Pinning hope on the family council

Taking care of all members of a family simultaneously is not an easy task, although it appears simple. Family management demands capable and committed members who are aware of the importance of fostering a family.
A proper family upbringing is essential for the development of a civilized society that will understand the significance of investment in humans.
If countries had focused their efforts on improving education of their citizens they would have achieved greater progress and prosperity. Their failure to provide proper education to citizens led to ignorance and poverty.
Many countries have started investing in girls’ education much before us as they learned women will be able to educate half of society.
About six months ago I had requested through an article the formation of a ministry for family affairs as I believed a full ministry is required to look after family affairs to end the dramatic and woeful developments in some families.
I was extremely happy when the authorities announced the formation of a council for family affairs and I am hopeful of seeing its good performance. I am confident that the council will contribute to strengthening family bonds. The presence of strong families will undoubtedly create an integrated society.
Despite the failure of some families and the deterioration of relations between its members, we have to acknowledge the fact that the Saudi mother is still a noble and powerful force capable of leading the whole family to success.
Saudi woman has proved her resolve at times of challenges and difficulties, despite her poor capabilities. Experience tells us she developed her capabilities as a result of her love and commitment toward her parents, siblings and husband as well as her children and grandchildren and this commitment and love will continue until her death.
If an official considers that a certain mission requires special capabilities where emotional intelligence is important, then he would realize development of women’s multiple skills as a better investment. Many mothers have proved their unusual capabilities in this respect both as employees and housewives. If we had employed women in leadership positions of the council of family affairs, considering their emotional intelligence, it would steer the organization to great success.
Emotional intelligence is one of the major factors that encouraged the government to appoint women as teachers and educators. It shows her unique capability to understand other people’s feelings.
On the other hand, if the new council follows the same methodology of previous social affairs ministries it would not bring any change or progress to matters related to family. Women leaders must be appointed as heads of every department at the council in order to make progress. If we fail to do so then the council would not achieve its set objectives and will end up like previous councils and committees run by male officials who took decisions without listening to the opinion of others. They announced their decisions through the media without bringing any productive result on the ground.
I earnestly wish for the council to have separate departments to deal with issues of various family members. There should be a special section for children to protect their rights and determine their future role in society before and after graduation.
The women’s section should determine their rights and duties and take measures to protect them. It should be capable of stopping all forms of discrimination against women, educate women about their legitimate rights, defend their achievements and get rid of the prevailing notion that they are inferior to men and incapable of making accomplishments.
In order to achieve greater focus, specialization and flexibility, the council’s official in charge should work to upgrade its status to a full ministry. The council should have a research center to conduct studies on all matters related to family and a media center to educate all members of the family and enhance their culture.
The council should take care of the requirements of people of special needs, which will enlighten society about the life and challengers of its members as well as their worries and requirements.
We should not forget that Saudi society, which succeeded in protecting the nation from sectarianism, strengthening its unity and stability, is capable of building a balanced society that longs for equality among its members in protection, rights and duties.