FATHERS IN TURKEY:
Source: INVOLVED FATHERHOOD AND ITS DETERMINANTS IN TURKEY: UNDERSTANDING FATHERHOOD IN TURKEY SERIES , 2017 AÇEV
WHY “FATHERHOOD COMES FIRST”?
At ACEV, we know getting fathers more involved is essential to bettering children’s lives. In June 2017 we launched a national Fatherhood Campaign—“Fatherhood Comes First”— to promote the message that fathers matter deeply to child development. Our aim is to strengthen involved and nurturing fatherhood, while discussing roles and stereotypes attributed to fatherhood and manhood in society.
ACEV has reached 60,000 fathers in 55 cities across Turkey over 21 years of implementing the Father Support Program. Yet, our goal is greater than our achievement. For this reason, in 2017 we launched our Fatherhood First campaign to create supportive environments in the families, neighborhoods, and social networks. Now, Father Support Program alumni and experienced trainers are building their own father networks and initiatives, and advocating for gender equality in their local communities.
RULES OF INVOLVED
RULES OF INVOLVED
HOW DO WE SUPPORT INVOLVED FATHERHOOD?
At ACEV, we know getting fathers more involved is essential to bettering children’s lives.
With the support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, we carried out the first ever Fatherhood Research in Turkey and disseminated its key findings to impact the public agenda. A panel of experts introduced the State of the Father’s Report on June 13th 2017, providing a landmark analysis of fatherhood in Turkey that draws evidence from more than 3000 fathers.
ACEV’s Father Support Program reached more than 60,000 fathers to date. To promote images of engaged fatherhood in the public sphere, in collaboration with the Swedish Consolute, we launched the Fatherhood Moments photographic exhibition, which depicted Turkish and Swedish portraits of engaged fathers.
As ACEV, we are grateful to our volunteers and stakeholders for their essential contribution in calling for a greater role for men in caring for children and saying, with us, that “Fatherhood Comes First”.
FATHERHOOD MOMENTS PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION
To promote images of engaged fatherhood in the public sphere, in conjunction with the Swedish Consulate, we launched on June 7th 2017 the Fatherhood Moments photographic exhibition, which depicted Turkish and Swedish portraits of engaged fathers. Inspired from the Swedish photographer Johan Bävman, two Turkish photographers Ahmet Görsev and Zeynep Sezerman captured intimate portraits of fathers from Turkish homes to champion gender equality in child care. The exhibition, which took place in several Turkish provinces, was viewed by more than 75,000 people. The traveling exhibition will continue to meet new audiences across the country until November.
PHOTOS FROM THE EXHIBITION
STATE OF TURKEY’S FATHERS REPORT
AÇEV launches findings of the most comprehensive research study ever conducted on fatherhood in Turkey!
The Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) takes a closer look on the concept of “involved fatherhood” this year, aiming to draw attention to the important role of fathers on child development. The foundation’s nation-wide research study on fatherhood, the most comprehensive study on fatherhood in Turkey thus far, was conducted with more than 3000 fathers across Turkey.
FATHERHOOD SUPPORT PROGRAM (FSP) IN 5 QUESTIONS
1- HOW IT ALL BEGAN?
The idea for a program for fathers came from women who were attending AÇEV’s Mother Child Education Program (MOCEP). They emphasized that although the program made them more aware of and practiced in good child-rearing methods, they still encountered problems at home raising their children due to a lack of support and understanding from their husbands. This anecdotal evidence was supported by a body of scientific research that established the importance of the father’s role in child development, both directly in terms of interaction, affection, and play, and indirectly through affecting familial relationships, communication, and shared responsibilities. Other evidence pointed to a concerning lack of fatherhood education and involvement in many countries, often from entrenched traditional family and gender roles. Thus, the Father Support Program was designed, and initial implementations began in 1996.
The Father Support Program (FSP) is a scientific research based adult training program aiming to contribute to all aspects of children’s development, as well as to prevent gender discrimination and violence against women through addressing the parenting skills and attitudes of fathers, and increasing community awareness and action on the role of men. The program employs participatory and face-to-face educational techniques, and aims to create behavior change in fathers so that they build healthy communication with their children and support their children’s development. Fathers participating in the program enhance their knowledge on parenting and child development, as well as gender equality and violence.
3- Why Do Fathers Need Support?
We know that fathers love their children and want to show their affection, but they need support. Since fathers spend a majority of their time at work, they struggle to build effective communication with their children, once at home. According to our 2016 research study, 58% of the fathers felt like they did not know what to do when they first became fathers and 38% expressed a willingness to attend trainings and/or support programs, if provided.
4- Program Content
Father Support Program is a primary prevention strategy targeting men with the specific aim of combating traditional gender norms and decreasing the prevalence and acceptance of violence in the home, while empowering them as active fathers. Through the Father Support Program, AÇEV emphasizes the role of fathers in raising children, advocates for shared child care responsibility, thus providing a healthier environment for the child’s development. The program focuses on providing a supportive environment for children’s holistic development and building democratic relationships, based on the perspective that mother, father and children all have corresponding rights and responsibilities. ACEV’s years-long experiences have shown for gender-based violence to decline and eventually be eradicated, intervention needs to target intra-familial relationships.
5- How does the Father Support Program work?
AÇEV-trained group leaders facilitate interaction with proven participatory and face-to-face education techniques, and the activities support participants to learn from one another while they share their own life experiences. Sessions are usually held in the evenings so as to allow more fathers to attend. It is implemented over a period of 14 weeks, via weekly two hour long meetings where 15-20 fathers convene to share their experiences on a variety of topics. Imagination, brain storming, role plays and group discussions are some of the incorporated techniques used in the program. The model of working with a group of fathers is highly effective in promoting behavior and attitude change. The habit of communicating and discussing issues in a supportive, democratic, safe group dynamic begins to shape the in-class environment for fathers.