On September 30, 2017, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Georgia Country Office, the NGO We Care, and the Georgian Football Federation hosted the “Fathers Cup,” a football (soccer) championship for fathers and children, as part of the country’s MenCare campaign.
The championship, which was held at the David Petriashvili Arena in Tbilisi, was open to all fathers who registered prior to the game, including those who took on the role of a team coach. Fathers coached teams of four members each, made up of girls and boys aged 8 to 12. Participation of both genders on each team was mandatory to qualify for the championship, and all participants in the “Fathers Cup” were rewarded with prizes.
The main goal of the championship was to advance the goals of the MenCare campaign, promoting men’s involvement as equitable, nonviolent fathers and caregivers in order to achieve family well-being, gender equality, and better health for mothers, fathers, and children.
Findings from the survey Men and Gender Relations in Georgia, conducted with UNFPA’s support in 2013, confirm that existing stereotypes and established clichés in Georgia prevent men from taking on roles as caring, hands-on fathers, husbands, partners, and family members. Results also show that the share of men involved in daily childcare activities such as selecting books for their children to read, talking with teachers at school, helping their children with homework, and washing their clothes, does not exceed five percent.
The MenCare campaign in Georgia is conducted within the framework of the United Nations Joint Programme for Gender Equality, funded by the Government of Sweden.