Fathers’ Schools have opened in Georgia for the first time as part of the Men Care Campaign, at the initiative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Georgia Country Office and the NGO “Care Together”.
The goal of the program is to promote acquisition and utilization of the skills and behaviors among men, which will help them become more engaged and caring fathers and partners. The Fathers’ School program will also help them learn more about gender equality, as well as about stereotypes and harmful social norms that prevent them from achieving genuine equality.
Men who are planning to become fathers in the near future, expectant fathers, or fathers of children under the age of three, form the target audience of the program. Training is free, and interested fathers will be able to participate through online registration.
The training course offered by Fathers’ School consists of eight 2-hour sessions. With the help of a specially designed module, fathers will be able to gain knowledge and information on important topics, such as:
Choosing the right time to have a child;
Supporting your partner during pregnancy and childbirth;
Sharing household chores;
Choosing methods of raising children;
Protecting a child from violence;
Maintaining healthy family relationships;
Importance of equal partnership.
In addition, online meetings with specialists actively involved in the process of raising children are planned within the framework of the Fathers’ School program. Fathers participating in the program will have the opportunity to ask questions to paediatricians, gynaecologists, child psychologists, and other relevant specialists.
“The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Georgia Country Office has been actively working for years and has put much effort in ensuring that as many fathers as possible are actively involved in the upbringing of their children, in our country. It is extremely important that men share the responsibilities for childcare and household chores equally with women, because such changes – changes that free people from harmful social norms and stereotypes – form the basis for building a healthy society.” – Lela Bakradze, Head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Georgia Country Office.
Gagua Clinic is one of the first partners of the Fathers’ School program in Tbilisi. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the UNFPA and the Clinic on May 15, 2021.
“Our experience has clearly shown us the positive impact of fathers’ involvement in antenatal care and childbirth and how it decreased likelihood of childbirth complications. Gagua Clinic has become a partner in this project, which intends to increase the involvement of fathers, promote social changes and make it easier for families to get through this important stage of life.” – David Gagua, Director General of Gagua Clinic.
The benefits of fathers’ active involvement in childcare and upbringing have been proven by numerous studies: the children are much happier, distinguished by physical and mental health, have high academic achievements, better social skills, higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and increased stress resistance.
“I think establishing Fathers’ School is a very important step forward made by Georgia, as there has been no such initiative before; therefore, I think the schools will help fathers to take even more care of their partners during their pregnancy and also be more prepared for the birth of a child.” – Mirian Jugheli, co-founder of the “Men Care” Campaign.
Fathers’ School was established within the framework of the “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against gender stereotypes and gender-based violence” program, funded by the European Union, implemented jointly by UN Women and UNFPA.