I attended the side event: Stories of Change: Men and Gender Equality, Including Caregiving at CSW56. This session was organized by UNFPA, UNICEF, and MenEngage Alliance. The beginning of this session, we watched the video, “Marco’s story.” In the screen, a man cried and talked about how he was lonely and unhappy during his childhood due to family violence. He only wish was to be a father, a good father. This video impacted on me very much because a man expressed his emotional feelings gently and accomplished his dream to be a wonderful father.
Theme of this session was a man should get involved in caregiving at home. Reasons are many. Panelists discussed how good it is for men to involve in caregiving. Mr. Barker, International Director Promundo in Brazil said if men do caregiving, they feel better about themselves, their partners, and children. This helps a man stays in a good shape mentally and a number of domestic violence decrease. Ms. Ulkuer, Chief, Early Childhood Development Unit, Programme Division, UNICEF added that girls are more successful if their fathers are in their lives.
Mr. Mtibe, One Man Can Campaign Mobiliser, Sonke Gender Justice introduced his activity in South Africa. His organization launched a fatherhood campaign with Promundo and MenEngage Alliance. This campaign is conceived as a complement to global and local efforts to engage men and boys in ending violence against women and girls. The campaign is to change the important things a father can do from just being strong or violent to being caring and supportive. During panel discussion, the panelists also mentioned the importance of father’s family involvement especially during early childhood and of making a family policy, which leads social changes.
From this session, I considered that men’s actions like these panelists are essential to carry on gender equality. IFUW is only-women organization; therefore this session is not directly useful for our activities. However, we need to think about how we change human’s minds that believe in caregiving is women’s job, not men’s. Without having gender equality at home, we will not fulfill a peaceful world.