11 Jul 2018, 12.00 AM
On July 11th, the embassy of Sweden teams up with Save the Children ans their baba Bora campaign and Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) to promote positive fatherhood.
Child caring has traditionally been the preserve of women in Tanzania and around the world. But fathers are essential to the health and well-being of the entire family, and engaged fathers is a question of both child protection and rights, as well as gender equality. The embassy of Sweden in Tanzania and Save the Children Zanzibar are joining forces to promote positive fatherhood at this year’s Zanzibar International Film Festival, combining Save the Children’s campaign Baba Bora and Swedish embassy exhibitions Swedish Dads and Tanzanian Dads.
Studies of families with fathers actively involved in both childcare and household responsibilities reported preschoolers who showed increased cognitive competence, capacity for empathy, self-control and a decrease in gender-stereotyped beliefs. Parents who assume less gender-stereotyped roles in the home and their work produce children who have less gender-stereotyped attitudes about themselves. This is the core message of both the Baba Bora campaign, which started in 2016 to promote positive fatherhood and men-inclusive practices, and the two photo exhibitions Tanzanian Dads and Swedish Dads, featuring fathers who take an active role in their children’s upbringing. The photo exhibitions explore what Swedish and Tanzanian fathers think of being a father in contrast to the traditional, stereotype parental role in their respective society.
Swedish Dads features fathers who spent at least six months at home with their children and looks at what caused them to do make that choice. What has it meant to them, how has it affected their relationships both with their partners and with their children, and what expectations did they have beforehand?
“By showing the everyday lives of fathers on parental leave, through pictures and interviews, I’ve focused on men who’ve chosen to put bonding with their children and families before their jobs and careers,” says Johan Bävman. “I’ve also sought to show the universally valid, loving aspect of parenthood, regardless of whether you’re a mother or father. With the aid of this project, I hope to inspire more men to begin reflecting on their roles as fathers and partners, which is an important step towards a more gender-balanced society. It’s good to see these stories going out into the world, where the Swedish perspective on gender equality is by no means self-evident.”
Tanzanian Dads feature Tanzanian men who represent different parts of society, who all think of fatherhood as something more than paying the bills, to be featured in Tanzanian Dads. Actor, bishop or farmer; being a dedicated father is not about what you do or where you live but your commitment to your children.
The day will start with "The march of the fathers" that will end up in the old fort where the exhibitions will be on display. There will be speeches, entertainment and the Kenyan family film Let us be family (Usiku wa familia)