UN Women Bangladesh together with the Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh hosted a photography exhibition and panel discussion titled “Swedish Dads and Bangladeshi Babas” (fathers) on March 9 at Zainul Art Gallery, Charukala, University of Dhaka. The exhibition showcased photos of Swedish photographer Johan Bävman along with photos of Bangladeshi dads in caring roles. The Bangladeshi photos were selected through a process that involved a call for photos from all over Bangladesh. The opening was done by Charlotta Schlyter, Swedish Ambassador, in Bangladesh and Shoko Ishikawa, Country Representative, UN Women Bangladesh.
“This exhibition shows the universally valid, loving aspect of parenthood, regardless of whether you’re a mother or father. I hope to inspire more men to begin reflecting on their roles as fathers and partners, which is an important step towards a more gender-balanced society. It’s good to see these stories going out into the world, where the Swedish perspective on gender equality is by no means self-evident,” said Charlotta Schlyter.
“UN Women believes that engaging men in the discussion on gender equality and having dialogues with them to break gender stereotypes and turning them into advocates of change is the best way forward. Through the HeForShe initiative, and through panels such as this, we want to have more engaging discussions with men, going forward,” said Shoko Ishikawa.
Panelists at the discussion- Anders Öhrström, Counsellor/Head of Development, Embassy of Sweden; Naveed Mahbub, standup comedian and Zaheen Islam, Category Head of Hair Care at Unilever Bangladesh spoke about the role of men in caregiving, policies that can help men attain parental leave and the ideal environment that encourages co-parenting.