‘Pakistani Papas’ photo exhibition challenges traditional parental roles


LAHORE: The Embassy of Sweden on Friday showcased a photo exhibition titled “Pakistani Papas” at the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) headquarters to highlight the importance of gender equality in parenthood.

The photos put up for display articulated how Pakistani fathers viewed their own role in contrast to the traditional parental roles, whereas the exhibition also showed that working fathers in the country were determined to be actively involved in their children’s lives.

The 15 fathers participating in the exhibition were selected through “#PakistaniPapas Photo Contest”. These photographs included those in which fathers were combing their daughter’s hair, cooking and playing with their children and participating in other day-to-day activities.

Pakistani Papas was inspired by Swedish photographer Johan Bävman’s exhibition titled “Swedish Dads”, a photo series documenting the lives of Swedish fathers who chose to benefit from the national parental leave policy by staying at home with their children for at least six months.

Swedish Ambassador Ingrid Johansson while addressing the exhibition said their aim was to highlight the role of fathers who share their children’s responsibilities with their spouses.

“This exhibition aims to travel to different cities around Pakistan with the message that an evenly involved father is the key to gender equality,” the envoy said, adding that equal parenting has positive effects on the child, parents as well as the society.

The Swedish ambassador also appreciated the working of PSCA and employment of female staff members.

“Child upbringing is a responsibility shared by both the father and the mother. The next exhibition will portray police dads taking care of their kids while also performing their professional duties,” Punjab Inspector General (IG) Amjad Javed Saleemi said on the occasion.

“We are transforming Punjab Police on modern lines and its efficiency will improve systematically. We will soon be signing a MoU [memorandum of understanding] with Sweden for effective traffic management as well,” he added.

He maintained that such exhibitions and activities were important for the capacity building and human development of the staff and PSCA would carry on such initiatives in the future too.

The guests invited to the event were also given a tour of PSCA and briefed about the authority’s working.

PSCA Managing Director Malik Ali Amir informed the visitors that almost 20 per cent of PSCA’s workforce comprised female officers, who were working with the same vigour and spirit as their male colleagues.