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EU supports International Forum on Men’s Engagement dedicated to the International Family Day

On May 14, the project “EU4Gender Equality: Together against gender stereotypes and gender-based violence,” organised an online forum “Cross Country Exchange on Men’s Engagement Initiatives'' on the occasion of the International Family Day. The event showcased successful ways to engage fathers in parenting and brought together representatives from 10 countriesto discuss best practices for promoting involved fatherhood. Men representing Tatohubs (Fathers’ Clubs) from six regions of Ukraine shared their successes and lessons learnt in creating local centres for fathers’ education.

 

It is well known that traditional gender norms and stereotypes impede both an individuals` ability to reach their full potential and economic development of the societies, limiting women’s opportunities, career advancement and personal development. Men engagement is crucial for women’s empowerment  and stable partner relations” - said Tetiana Shulha, Gender focal point at the European Union Delegation to Ukraine.

 

Participants from Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Turkey, Serbia, USA, Sweden took part in the online forum. It served as a platform for experience exchange of men’s engagement initiatives in the Eastern partnership countries, international good practices of men's involvement into care work as well as showcase success of Ukrainian model of work with fathers – the Tatohubs initiative.

 

For instance, Tatohubs from Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Odesa, Kramatorsk, Zaporizhia, Troitske and Myrnohrad shared their successes in building a network of fathers’ clubs in big and small cities, engaging fathers into edutainment activities like fishing, “Eco-Toloka” green activities, father’s yoga etc and becoming local centres of fathers’ education, where psychologists conduct group and personal sessions and become allies in fathering. Georgia presented another format of men’s engagement – MenCare Georgia Communication Campaign and Fathers’ Schools piloted at reproductive health centres. Moldova introduced models and programmes for fathers based at schools and youth centres.

 

As we strive to progress in building demographic resilience and socio-economic recovery, we must acknowledge the central role that gender equality plays for achieving both goals. This partnership brings together the EU, UN Women and UNFPA to focus on gender-responsive family policies, men-engagement and promotion of more equal distribution of unpaid domestic and care work. Over the past few months we have witnessed many steps taken to address these issues: the adoption of the new law on paternity leave, the Decree of the President of Ukraine on urgent actions of GBV prevention, and the development of comprehensive gender equality programs in several cities. At UNFPA we welcome such developments and are committed to continue working with our partners until we achieve full equality between men and women”, Jaime Nadal, UNFPA Ukraine Representative said.

 

International experience is crucial while establishing new models of men engagement and advancing gender equality. NGOs Promundo (USA), MÄN (Sweden) and AÇEV (Turkey) together with UNFPA Turkey presented their findings and achievements on work with men in their countries  and globally.

 

Background information:

This initiative is announced in the framework of the “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against gender stereotypes and gender-based violence” project, funded by the European Union, implemented jointly by UN Women and UNFPA. It seeks to strengthen equal rights and opportunities for women and men by shifting social perceptions around gender roles, tackling gender stereotypes and increasing men’s participation in childcare and other domestic responsibilities. The project lasts from 2020 till 2023.

UNFPA Ukraine is working on promoting responsible fatherhood and men participation in household chores and caretaking of children. Starting from 2020, 3 father’s clubs - in Kyiv, Odesa and Vinnytsia have been launched.