“Swedish Dads”, a new perspective in the traditionalistic way of rising children

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 24, 2017 10:56

Story Highlights

  • The opening ceremony of this photo exhibition will take place on the 23rd of November, at 6pm, at the National Museum of Photography, in Shkoder. It will be open for the public on Friday, the 24th of November.

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Swedish DadsAt a time when women’s voices internationally, and even in Albania, are speaking out in unison for their rights, while it’s also obvious that more work needs to be done to achieve gender equality, “Swedish Dads”, a photo exhibition by Johan Bävman, brings an unpopular, but also welcoming, perspective on one of the most traditionally ‘womanly’ activities: the paternal leave. It aims to show the effects of gender equality in parenting on both individuals and society.

“Swedish Dads” is in a way a photo essay, an exhibition based on portraits of a selected group of 25 fathers who choose to stay home with their babies for at least six months.

“With this project, I want to find out why these men have chosen to stay at home so much longer than the majority of Swedish dads. What has it done for them, how have their relationships with their partner and their child changed, and what expectations did they have before taking paternal leave?” Bävman states in his personal blog.

Bävman further explains that Sweden has one of the most generous paternal leave systems in the world, enabling parents to stay at home with their child for a total of 480 days and receive an allowance from the state.

This allocation aims at promoting gender equality in Sweden. The ‘equality bonus’ has been introduced, to encourage men and women to share their paternal leave more equally – the more days divided equally between the parents, the higher the bonus they receive. However, despite the allowance and bonus, only a fraction of Swedish father use all their paternal leave days, while 14% of parents choose to share their days equally.

“There are two aims at this project,” Bävman further writes. “The first is to describe the background to Sweden’s unique parental allowance. The second is to inspire other fathers – in Sweden, and further afield – to consider the positive benefits of such a system.”

Already hosted in a number of states – Romania, Uganda, Washington, Vietnam, Germany, China and Switzerland – the exhibition is brought to Albania by the Swedish Institute, the Embassy of Sweden in Albania, the National Museum of Photography Marubi, Ministry of Culture, and the ‘Women to Women’ Organization.

The “Woman to Woman” organization was founded by a group of women activists, members of the “Counseling Line for Women and Girls”, who started dealing with women’s issues since the early 1990s, by cooperating with women and girls from Shkoder to North of Albania. Their vision is based on the motto: “an empowered woman, a founding factor towards an integrated and developed society”, while their mission is to support, protect and promote the rights and interests of women and girls in the Shkoder district, regardless of political orientation, religion, educational level, ethnicity, age, economic situation, sexual orientation, physical disability, gender identity and other capacities.

About Johan Bävman

Johan Bävman (b. 1982) combines his own long-term projects with freelance assignments from different clients worldwide. He has previously published the photo-book Albino – In the shadow of the sun (2009). The project Swedish Dads has had a tremendous impact and has been published /shared widely all over the world.

Between the years 2008 and 2011, Johan Bävman worked as a staff photographer at Sydsvenskan, one of the largest newspapers in Sweden. He graduated from Nordens Fotoskola, Stockholm 2007. He was previously a member of Moment Agency (2007–2015). Johan Bävman has won several awards, including the World Press Photo, POY, Sony Award, NPPA and UNICEF Photo Award.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 24, 2017 10:56