Fatherhood - Men Care

Global campaign for promotion of more equitable and engaged fathers

CARE International Balkans and its network of partner organizations in the Balkans is joining the global fatherhood campaign MenCare, which is coordinated by Promundo and Sonke Gender Justice Network.

MenCare is a global campaign to promote men's involvement as equitable, responsive and non-violent fathers and caregivers. It provides high quality community and mass media messages, technical assistance and training, policy and program recommendations and evidence to support local NGOs, women's rights organizations, governments and UN partners in their efforts to engage men and boys in caregiving.

MenCare has active campaigns and ongoing activities in over 25 countries on 5 continents at the moment.

Why the campaign?

Approximately four out of five men worldwide will be fathers at some point in their lives. And nearly all the world’s men have some connection to children as stepfathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, teachers, mentors, coaches or simply as friends. A growing and overwhelming body of evidence from the Global South and the Global North confirms that engaged, responsive fatherhood and men’s participation in the lives of children are generally positive for children, women and for men themselves.

Globally, women and girls continue to carry out the majority of domestic activities -- even though women now represent 40% of the paid work force. Men’s limited participation in care work (referring to the care of children and the care of others in family settings) continues to be a major barrier to gender equality and women’s empowerment by, among other things, keeping women’s income lower than men’s. MenCare is a much-needed complement to global and local efforts to engage men and boys in ending violence against women and children. It is part of the MenEngage Alliance’s global vision of achieving equitable, non-violent relationships and caring visions of what it means to be men. MenCare partners strive to work in collaboration with women's rights organizations – and directly with women and mothers, as well as men - to identify and promote shared, non-violent, gender-equitable caregiving as well as safe childbirth.

Main themes

MenCare has 10 themes as the backbone of the MenCare campaign globally. In the Balkans our fatherhood campaign as part of its first steps will focus on promoting positive images of fatherhood and care giving in child's everyday life. As the campaign progresses, we will focus on other important topics such as: fathers involvement in everyday care, education, child's health and prevention of violence.

The first three campaign themes are the following:

1. Be Proud & Show It

You can be a man who earns the respect of your community and family. It's easy... just be a proud father.

Too often the only role society recognizes or expects of men, is to be providers. But societies and families also want and respect men who are involved fathers.

Men who report close, caring relationships with their children – regardless of their sexual identities or whether they live with the mother of the child – are better off in many ways.

2. Just play

You know that play is serious business. Take the time to laugh and play, every day.

Close to half of the world’s fathers say that they provide some kind of daily care or have some daily involvement with their children. The most common daily activity that men carry out with children: playing.   Playing with children is important work both as recreation and as part of care work and should be encouraged. Play is necessary for children to develop motor skills, creativity and social skills. And playing with children helps men as well. Through play, men connect and bond with children, developing sensitivity and responsiveness to children's needs.

3. Be Brave – Show Affection

You have a chance to be a father who cares deeply for those he loves. That's a rare thing in today's world.

Many men and women think that men cannot or should not show affection toward children -- that fathers should be stoic, and the enforcers of rules and discipline. But showing affection and demonstrating emotions and caring are among the most important things that fathers can do.

Children who have emotionally close relationships with their fathers are more likely themselves to demonstrate empahty, be connected and involved with their communities and to show better mental health.

Target group

In knowing the fact that each family is unique and has its own dynamic, form and relationships we decided to have inclusive approach to parenting and to involve all different representatives of families.

The primary target group for the kick off campaign activities will be fathers, stepfathers and future fathers.

Later on, the campaign will focus on all care givers, adult role models such as grandparents, coaches, teachers and other family members.

We also understand and value the importance of mothers and do not want to the diminish their important role in child's and family life, that is why campaign will include mothers and women as caregivers.

What do we want to say?

Take time to be dad – yes it is important to be a bread winner, but you need to find a time for your child. You are missing a lot if you don’t do so. Spend some time with your kid, be an active father .

Be a good role model - Be a good dad, be a good role model to your child

Soldier and authority VS emotional and dedicated father – Your surrounding teach you to be a policeman and authority, the one that is strict. Enjoy and relax, play with your child, show affection and feelings, let go to the game – sing with your child in a car even you hate singing, dance with your child, play football with your child.

Don’t worry what other people will say, the only things its matter is what your child will say and time you have with your child, don’t miss that time

How we will do it?

Media – creating and adapting visual materials (posters, films etc) in order to start community-wide conversations on positive manhood.

Programs – developing and adapting program for group education for fathers, caregivers and workers in health and social welfare who could take a very important role in involving men in parenthood.

Advocacy – advocating for policies that create more opportunities for men's involvement in caregiving, women' s economic empowerment, maternal health and children's well being.

How to get involved in YMI Fatherhood Campaign?

Please contact: CARE office and local partners office contacts

Logo: MenCare, Promundo, Sonke Network, CARE, local partner organization