|Hands-on dads: Visitors gaze at photos on display at the exhibition Swedish Dads. The exhibition aims to improve gender equality and promote equal parental leave benefits. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HA NOI (VNS)— Large photos depicting men taking care of their children are hung on the wall surrounding the Swedish Embassy as part of an on-going exhibition entitled Swedish Dads.
At the exhibition inauguration on Thursday, Swedish Ambassador Camilla Mellander said the purpose of the exhibition was to improve gender equality and to promote equal sharing of parental leave between men and women.
"It is also our local contribution to the HeForShe campaign launched by UNWomen. The Swedish government is a strong supporter of gender equality and is pursuing a feminist foreign policy," she said.
According to her, no other country in the world provides such generous terms of parental leave as Sweden does. Through Sweden's welfare system Swedish parents can get 480 paid days of parental leave, receiving 80 per cent of their salary. The Swedish Dads photo series was created by Swedish photographer Johan Bavman, who strived to document Swedish fathers in their daily lives, taking advantage of Sweden's generous paternity-leave to spend more time with their kids.
"With this project I wanted to find out why these men have chosen to stay at home; 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 parental leave," the photographer recalled.
Mikael Sandstrom, a Swedish dad of two children and currently living in Viet Nam, said: "For me, the mutual understanding and respect between me and my wife is one of the biggest benefits of being on parental leave. When you share the same experience it is amplified and you enjoy the wonders of being a parent much more".
Attending the event, Vietnamese film director Tran Luc, who is also Good Will Ambassador and a Vietnamese father of three noted that "becoming a father is one of the greatest things in life. But becoming a good father is not something you learn overnight, and it takes a lot of effort, time and patience and love on top of everything.
The Swedish Embassy has also worked with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to launch a photo competition entitled Vietnamese Dads, with entries accepted from now till May 15 May, 2016 with all Vietnamese citizens eligible to enter.
While the first and the second prize will be selected by a jury board, the third prize will be voted online via Facebook. —VNS