Press Release

Photo Project to Father’s Day: famous Ukrainian fathers told about their dad’s experience

19 June 2020

This photo exhibition is held by UNFPA Ukraine and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine with the support of Caucus "Equal Opportunities".

Father's Day is celebrated in Ukraine and most countries on the third Sunday of June. On this day, we would like to draw your attention once again to the importance of involving the father in the upbringing and care of his children, as well as in the equal distribution of household responsibilities.

Do you know that 80% of older men regret spending too little time with their children in the past?

“Responsible fatherhood is not just a trend now. It is an important pillar for gender equality, for better families and for better communities. When dads take paternity leave and do their share in the care of children and in home responsibilities, moms are healthier, less likely to suffer from depression and better off in terms of regaining their professional careers and income. For example in Sweden every dad has 90 days of paid parental leave, which is not transferable. Fathers in Estonia are given two weeks of paid time off to promote extra bonding with their child. In Ukraine only 27% of men used childcare leave that lasted on average 14 days. We in UNFPA believe that paternity leave can benefit the whole family” - Jaime Nadal, UNFPA Representative to Ukraine said. 

”As part of the Biarritz Partnership, we are working to enable men to spend more time with children, care for them on an equal footing with women. Together with representatives of all factions, Caucus "Equal Opportunities" registered a new law today. We are incredibly grateful to Olena Zelenska for her leadership in implementing equality in Ukraine” - said Maryna Bardina, MP and Co-chair of the Equal Opportunities Caucus.

This online photo project highlights personal stories of 19 conscious fathers – politicians, sportsmen, public figures, singers and showmen. Each of them has his own story, personal approach in fathering  The portraits present simple daily routine, which can be also incredibly touching moments they share with their kids –  feeding babies, cooking together, teaching how to ride a bicycle or discussing favorite books. It helps to maintain healthy relationships in the family and stay connected emotionally with kids throughout their life.  

You can find English version of the project here: dadsday2020.in.ua/en

 “My wife and I immediately shared our childcare responsibilities. Our parents reside outside of Kyiv, so there was nobody to help us with kids. My wife never actually took maternity leave, she always worked. So, both of us managed and still are managing the childcare process together” - Denys Maliuska, Minister of Justice of Ukraine says.

“Regardless of all my busyness with coronavirus, I seek to find time for her. On weekends we go biking together. Also, the two of us have our ritual of drinking coffee in the confectionary and buying sweets. She can get way more chocolate with me than with the mom. There are no limits, and our daughter loves it” - Viktor Liashko, Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine added.

“I believe that men who do not spend time with family, children, wife, citing the fact that they have a lot of work, use this reason as an excuse. As for me, over the past five years, I have become much more focused on my family, in particular on my daughter. When she was nine years old, I realized: a little more - and she will stop hold my hand, a little more - and she may be so far away that I will not have time to be friends with her and later I will not be able to extract a word from her, and the relationship with her will become completely formal” - Oleksandr Pedan, TV presenter and showman.

“Being a father every day means loving your children. When you love children, when you put them on an equal footing with yourself and understand that they will continue you, then you raise them accordingly. Then your every move, your every action is dictated by love for them. And everything else - details. The way we wake up, study, walk, exercise, brush our teeth or something else are nuances. The nuances that begin with love”, - Taras Topolia, The Antytila band frontman, singer, friend of UNFPA Ukraine noted.

We are convinced that Ukraine needs more responsible fathers, so we hope their example will inspire you to practice responsible fathering on a daily basis in order to build Ukraine truly free from stereotypes and limitations.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine recently supported the initiative of First Lady Olena Zelenska to join the Biarritz International Partnership.

This step brings us closer to the countries where, in particular, all citizens are able to realize their parental rights and opportunities. Today, June 19, the deputies of the Caucus "Equal Opportunities" registered the Draft Law "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts to Ensure Equal Opportunities for Mother and Father to Care for a Child."

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This exhibition has been launched in the framework of the  4 Hands Happiness Project, which is a social initiative of UNFPA and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine since 2015. The project aimed to overcome stereotypes about the unequal distribution of household responsibilities in favor of joint household chores and childcare. The project also emphasizes the importance of men engagement in childcare and the importance of the paternity leave availability.