In the words of Iman Gabr: “I will work on myself to be a mother that takes care of her children and supports them, so they are happy, successful and most importantly feel safe and loved”
Iman Gabr is a 29-year-old housewife and mother of two children from Alexandria Governorate. Iman participated in the pilot phase of the family camps on “Gender Transformative Parenting”, which was organized in partnership between the National Council for Women and UN Women Egypt, in cooperation with WellSpring Egypt, in Cairo, Minya, Damietta and Alexandria governorates, from October to December 2021, with the participation of around 120 Egyptian families.
The family camps aimed at enhancing the adoption of gender transformative practices to create more gender equitable spaces at home through challenging stereotypical gender norms and encouraging men and boys to participate in the unpaid care and domestic work while correcting misconceptions about parenting through various interactive and recreational activities. These camps were organized under the framework of the UN Women Regional Programme "Men and Women for Gender Equality", implemented through the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
"I've been married for 10 years, and due to my husband's working conditions, I was always carrying the burden of the household chores and childcare responsibilities on my own. As the load increased, I became violent with my children as a quick reaction. Even after my husband allocated part of his time to help me with taking care of our children, I was not aware of another method to deal with my children, until I participated in this family camp. The camps have given me a chance to reflect on my role as a mother, but I was not happy with what I discovered. I realized that I am mother who is very violent with her children all the time and does not consider their right to speak and express themselves and be well heard and their right to learn from their mistakes.
My participation in the interactive sessions and the family activities organized during the camps helped me improve my communication skills and learn how to express my feelings as well as control my emotions to a great extent. Part of these sessions focused on ending domestic violence, through which I learned about the consequences of using violence to discipline children. Violence affects their health, academic performance and makes them feel insecure and unloved. In addition, it increases their tendency to use violence in the future since whoever is subjected to violence is more likely to be violent in his/her actions later and I do not want that for my children. I do not want to be the reason for causing them such harm, it is unacceptable from now on. As a mother, I want the best for my children and do not want to ever harm them. I also learned during my participation at the camp that violence is an acquired behavior that we can get rid of. We can express our feelings of anger, sadness, or anxiety without using any form of violence.
I will work on myself to be a mother that takes care of her children and supports them, so they are happy, successful and most importantly feel safe and loved”
Read in Arabic.