On October 12, 2017, UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) Regional Office, a MenCare partner, organized the webinar “Fatherhood Programs: Good Practices from the Region” within the framework of the EECA MenEngage Platform.
The webinar focused on successful examples of programs that have contributed to advancing gender equality by promoting involved fatherhood in Russia and Turkey. It featured keynote speakers Konstantin Zakharov, project coordinator at the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Doctors to Children (DTC), based in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Suna Hanöz, international program manager at AÇEV, the Mother and Child Education Foundation, based in Istanbul, Turkey.
The choice to highlight involved fatherhood in this first webinar hosted by the EECA MenEngage Platform’s new MenEngage Forum aimed to convey involved fatherhood’s potential to create a more just and equal society. Evidence shows that fathers’ presence at home and their involvement in childcare greatly enhance early childhood development by fostering emotional ties between fathers and children. Promoting men’s involvement as equitable, responsive, and nonviolent fathers and caregivers is also associated with happier partner relationships and healthier family life, which are key to advancing gender equality.
The webinar highlighted DTC’s Papa-School Program and AÇEV’s Father Support Program. As an opportunity to build the capacity of other NGOs in the region, the presentation of each program focused on the program’s thematic content, associated educational materials and tools, preparation and training for facilitators, and more.
The Papa-School Program consists of a series of sessions designed for fathers and structured around various stages of child development, from birth to 18 years. The program aims to strengthen fathers’ motivation to participate in their children’s lives and to develop their parenting skills.
The Father Support Program is comprised of 13 sessions geared toward fathers of children aged 3 to 11. The program aims to promote fathers’ non-authoritarian attitudes, knowledge of child development, and equitable parenting skills, as well as encourage gender-equitable and nonviolent attitudes and behaviors.
In addition to presenting the Father Support Program, Suna shared insights on AÇEV’s private-sector collaboration to promote involved fatherhood, a project funded by UNFPA Turkey. The private sector has been identified as an entry point for its potential to target a significant number of working fathers in the country, thus providing an opportunity to discuss involved fatherhood and its impact on advancing gender equality, as well as to work toward the structural changes required in the workplace to promote equitable parenting among employees.
A question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the webinar provided an opportunity for speakers and participants to exchange knowledge and experiences. Many participants asked questions related to the possibility of integrating fatherhood into their existing work on gender-transformative programming.
Watch the webinar in English and Russian below, and view both the recordings and the presentations in English and Russian here.
Watch the webinar in English:
Watch the webinar in Russian: