Panel discussion: “Fatherhood, caregiving and paternity leave: Critical steps towards achieving gender equality in BiH”, Banja Luka, 12 April 2018
We concluded that citizens want to take a more active role in creating the conditions that would allow men to take more responsibility in the distribution of caring for children, at a panel discussion entitled “Fatherhood, caregiving and paternity leave: critical steps towards achieving gender equality in BiH” that was held in Dom mladih (Youth Center) in Banja Luka on 12 April 2018, organized by the Embassy of Sweden in BiH, CARE International in BiH, Institute for Youth and Community Development “Perpetuum Mobile”, Banja Luka and Infohouse, Sarajevo.
At the opening the present guests were welcomed by H.E. Anders Hagelberg, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to BiH, Dr. Jasmina Davidović, Minister of Family, Youth and Sports of the Republic of Srpska and Sumka Bučan, director of CARE International in BiH.
H.E. Anders Hagelberg spoke to the audience about the situation in his country, and said that it was important to pay attention to gender equality. Also, Sweden introduced a new law on this issue in the 1970s and since then the situation changed for the better, and the role of the father in society was greatly improved.
After that, as part of the T.A.L.K.S. platform (freedom of speech platform), Aleksandar Žolja, an activist in the Helsinki Committee of Citizens, Banja Luka, who used his right on the paternity leave, and psychologist Srđan Puhalo, talked about their experience as parents.
The panel discussion was attended by Peter Briefe, representative of the Swedish organization Men for Gender Equality, Nikola Dorontić, representative of the Center for Social Work Banja Luka, Dženana Alađuz, director of Infohouse from Sarajevo and Mladen Šukalo, user of paternity leave. The discussion was conducted not only among the participants, but the audience also contributed to it with their questions, comments and suggestions.
The end of the panel discussion was the beginning of the exhibition “Swedish and BiH Dads”, which was officially opened by H.E. Ambassador Anders Hagelberg. The exhibition presented photographs of fathers from BiH and awarded photographs from a competition held in 2017, alongside photographs of Swedish fathers who talked about their social status.