Photo Exhibit on Fatherhood in Egypt and Sweden featured in Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2019

A Father and his Son During the Photo Exhibit

A Father and his Son During the Photo Exhibit in Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Photo:Courtesy of Embassy of Sweden in Cairo

A photo exhibit entitled “Because I am a Father: Egyptian and Swedish Dads” was launched on 9 May at Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The exhibit features photos from Egypt and Sweden, portraying the universal role of fatherhood, promoting cultural exchange and gender equality, and is a joint undertaking by Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the National Council for Women, the Swedish Institute in Stockholm, the Embassy of Sweden in Cairo, and UN Women Egypt. The exhibit will be open to the public until 28 May, from 10am until 2pm daily. It is the first time the exhibition is displayed in Alexandria. The exhibition was previously shown in Cairo in October 2018.

This is an opportunity to visually and interactively showcase the important role fathers have in the lives of their children, and how this impacts not only their family but society as a whole,” said Dr. Per-Axel Frielingsdorf, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Cairo. “I am glad that the joint initiative of this photo exhibition will be coming to Alexandria. It will provide an excellent platform to create cultural dialogue around important topics such as gender equality, which is an integrated part of the foreign policy of the Swedish Government” he continued.

Dr. Hind Hanafi the member of the National Council for Women said: “The National Council believes that both parents have integrated roles within the family, and that raising children on values, morals, and principles is the result of joint and balanced cooperation between mothers and fathers. The father also plays a pivotal role as the main responsible for achieving stability and psychological peace within this family. “I am a father” exhibition emphasizes and appreciates this important role and presents positive examples to a group of fathers who believe that parenting is a responsibility of two people. It also creates a community dialogue about the importance of the role of men in supporting women, pushing her forward, and helping her to succeed and excel.”

“Engaging men and boys as allies in achieving gender equality is a key strategy for UN Women to ensure long-term change. Through this art exhibit, messages on positive fatherhood are conveyed to confirm the vital role that fathers play in shaping their children’s lives. This exhibit is part of holistic programming focused on changing the narrative on gender roles and fatherhood.” stated Ms. Gielan El-Messiri; UN Women Gender Specialist.

A Group Photo During the Photo Exhibit in Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Photo:Courtesy of Embassy of Sweden in Cairo

About the Exhibition

Egyptian Dads is a photo exhibition that aims to show examples of Egyptian fathers who share responsibility for taking care of their children, participating in the daily lives of their daughters and sons, playing, reading, laughing, teaching, cooking, and other acts of support and love. The exhibit aims to highlight the stories of engaged Egyptian dads who share responsibility for child care with their partners, with the aim to nurture a more gender equal generation, with stable and happy homes for a more productive society.

Swedish Dads is a photo exhibition based on portraits of Swedish fathers who choose to stay home with their children – paternal leave – for at least six months. Photographer Johan Bävman examines why these fathers have chosen to stay home with their children, what experience it has given them, and how their relationship with both their partners and their children has changed as a result. The exhibition aims to show the effects of gender equality in parenting on both individuals and society.

About “Because I am a Man” Campaign

A social media campaign under the title of “Because I’m a Man” was launched in 2017 as a collaboration between the National Council for Women and UN Women with the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). It aims at raising awareness about the positive role of men in achieving gender equality and women empowerment, changing negative stereotypes related to gender roles including household roles and responsibilities, fatherhood, violence against women, employment and other areas. It also highlights positive role models of men and youth who have supported the achievement of gender equality. Campaign champions include prominent male figures: the Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah and various other celebrities including the Tunisian actor Dhafer Al Abedin, the TV presenter Osama Kamal, the rap artist Zap Tharwat, the script writer Mohamed Hefzy and many others. This campaign reached more than 7 million followers.

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