National MenCare campaign

9 July 2016

In the framework of the United Nations Joint Programme for Gender Equality, supported by the Government of Sweden, UNFPA Georgia launched a national MenCare campaign in July 2016. Representatives from the Government of Georgia, international and non-governmental organizations, sports and arts communities, and campaign supporters and participants attended the official launch of the campaign. Fathers, who came to the event together with their children, voiced their readiness contribute to achieving social change and gender equality.

The launch of the MenCare campaign in Georgia was preceded by work that UNFPA Georgia and its partner organizations have been doing for many years. The survey Men and Gender Relations in Georgia, conducted by UNFPA in 2013, finds that roles and relationships in Georgia are not equal for men and women. The research shows that inequitable stereotypes about women’s and men’s roles in society are still widespread, and such notions hinder men from taking full responsibility for being equitable fathers, husbands, partners, and family members. For example:

  • Repairing and fixing household items are widely considered to be a man’s job, whereas looking after children, cleaning, taking care of the family, and cooking are considered to be a woman’s job, which puts an unequal burden of household work on women;
  • Eight out of 10 fathers do not read books every day to their children of preschool age, do not take them to the kindergarten or the playground, and do not cook meals;
  • Thirteen percent of surveyed fathers say they seldom – and six percent say they never – talk to their adolescent children about problems.

Based on these research findings in Georgia, UNFPA and its partner organizations have actively worked to raise awareness and generate public discourse about gender norms and inequality since 2013. Campaigns and activities to promote men’s engagement as fathers and caregivers – such as “Daddy, Read Me A Book,” the Fathers television program, and “A Letter to a Child” –have captured public attention and raised awareness about the importance of gender-equal caregiving. With the support of UNFPA, Father’s Day was celebrated in Georgia for the first time on June 19, 2016.