A roundtable conference on Responsible Fatherhood was organised by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi and Rutgers WPF on Tuesday.
A statement issued by the ITA said that the idea was to provide a platform to the youth voice their views on the subject.
Rutgers WPF Country Representative Qadeer Baig said, “Our campaign aims to transform rigid social perceptions of gender roles, in which men are expected to provide while women care for children are responsible for the reproductive aspects of family life.”
Engaging with fathers on the issue could help end child marriages and domestic violence, he said. “It could help bridge communication barriers between fathers and their children as well.” Health issues adolescents faced while growing up were discussed with fathers at the dialogues.
The lack of information and risks associated with unreliable information sources could lead to adverse health effects for teens, he said. “Fathers’ involvement in the family goes beyond the role of a breadwinner…they are also responsible for the upbringing and character development of their children,” said Baig.
Minister for Population Welfare Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said a good father needed high self-esteem. Unfortunately in Pakistan, self-esteem is dependent on factors like education and poverty. “It is easy to have children, but nurturing them requires great commitment and that is the father’s responsibility.”
Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Khalil Tahir Sindhu appreciated the effort to promote the role of fathers in the society and highlight their importance in the development of the child.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2014.