MINISTER for Women Dr Jiko Luveni spoke to Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women's Association (PPSEAWA) conference delegates about the importance of the family to individuals and to a nation.
Dr Luveni said although the structure of the family had changed in recent times, with more equality in duties, it remains "the crucial cornerstone of society".
She said while parenting skills on keeping peace in the family were often lacking, keeping and teaching peace in the family was something done by everyone every day.
"Children learn to be nice by having someone be nice to them. They learn to be peaceful and non-violent by having other people demonstrate what it is to be peaceful," Dr Luveni said.
"If a culture of peace is to take root in our families, it will be essential to develop a non-violent approach for conflicts."
Dr Luveni said a major challenge faced by the ministry was the rising number of single-parent families, which she believed was caused by "powerful demographic and socio-economic forces reshaping the structure of the family".
She said the ministry had 4300 unemployed single parents receiving social welfare assistance for their children. Fijian PPSEAWA delegate Samanunu Katonivere from Labasa described the presentation as "inspiring, encouraging and empowering".