DO WE SEE THE DIFFERENCE?
Different Images of Men
In our society, household work and caring responsibilities are unpaid and under-valued and is stereotypically seen as women’s work. In the eyes of society, cleaning, child care, caring for the sick and elderly, cooking, fetching water and fuel, washing clothes are jobs for women and men do not, and should not participate in such work.
However, the photographs and stories collated in this book and exhibition titled, “Different Images of Men” challenge this perspective. This collection highlights that men actually can carry out these tasks: making visible the invisible participation of men in Unpaid Care Work and challenging the traditional notion of masculinity. Increased understanding and participation of men is an important part of ensuring recognition and redistribution of Unpaid Care Work for women.
This unique collection includes photos from different regions, varied classes, castes, races and religions across Bangladesh. It is small but an ambitious initiative using the powerful tool of photography to capture the spirit, love and affection of men and family life not just for artistic effect but to show how men can challenge the dominant patriarchal mindset through their own actions.
Highlighting the participation of men, these photos also show the overall importance of Unpaid Care Work in our daily lives – it’s importance to family, to society and to the state.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals-SDGs aim to reduce the time spent on Unpaid Care Work by women and we all need to do more to achieve this goal: as individuals, society and the state. An ActionAid research from 2017 conducted under `Promoting Opportunity for Women Empowerment and Rights (POWER)’ project revealed how women spend on an average 8 hours a day on Unpaid Care Work, while men spend approximately 2 hours. This collection and exhibition are aimed at generating discussions on social norms and contribute to bridging this gender gap in our society by adopting relevant policies and measures. We are bringing this extraordinary event to you in 2020 virtually, for a third time now after piloting it in 2017 and 2019.
We hope it provides food for thought for all.