From Sweden to Chile, these photos of men’s caregiving show that fatherhood is changing

La Moneda Cultural Center in Santiago, Chile is presenting the Chilean Dads (“Papás Chilenos,” in Spanish) photo exhibition from October 4 to November 26, 2017, highlighting intimate moments of Chilean fathers caring for their children. The 27 photos that appear in the exhibition were selected from over 400 entries, submitted by fathers and family members as part of the #PapásChilenos photo contest.

The Chilean Dads exhibition is modeled after, and presented alongside, Swedish Dads – a photo series by Johan Bävman that documents the lives of fathers in Sweden who chose to use Sweden’s national parental leave policy and stay at home with their children for at least six months.

The winning photos featured in Chilean Dads depict diverse scenes of men who are actively engaged in the care and upbringing of their children and who model affectionate and involved forms of fatherhood. The exhibition draws public attention to fathers who participate equally in care work, in an effort to promote reflection on the value of gender equality in family relationships.

While the importance of active fatherhood is becoming increasingly understood in Chile, many Chilean fathers still believe that, first and foremost, they are providers, and that childcare is the primary responsibility of mothers. To challenge these inequitable norms related to caregiving, supportive policies and programs are also needed: paid paternity and parental leave, parent-training programs, and work with the health and education sectors to engage fathers are some of the policies and services that can promote shared responsibility for care.

After the Chilean Dads photo exhibition comes to a close at La Moneda Cultural Center, it will travel to several cities around the country – and the message that men’s involved fatherhood and caregiving is key to gender equality and child development will travel with it.

Chilean Dads is organized by the Embassy of Sweden in Chile and by Fundación CulturaSalud/EME, a MenCare partner. It is supported by the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality, UN Women, UNICEF, Chile Crece Contigo, and the MenCare Latin America campaign.

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