At ACEV, we know getting fathers more involved is essential to improving children’s lives. In June 2017 we launched a national Fatherhood Campaign—“Fatherhood Comes First”— to promote the message that fathers matter deeply to child development. Our aim is to strengthen involved and nurturing fatherhood, while discussing roles and stereotypes attributed to fatherhood and manhood in society. In the past few months, together with a wide range of partners, we have carried out a number of initiatives that we are excited to share with you.

With the support of Bernard van Leer Foundation, we carried out the first comprehensive study of fatherhood in Turkey. The State of Father’s in Turkey provides a landmark analysis of fatherhood and draws on evidence from more than 3000 fathers. The report was launched in June 13th, 2017 and discussed by a panel of experts with a wide group of stakeholders.

In the lead up to Father’s Day on 18 June 2017, with support from UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, our partners and volunteers held public events across the country to raise awareness about stronger father-child relationships. On Father’s Day, we announced, “whatever his job, his #1 job is his children”. The messages were displayed on billboards across several cities, social media, and short online films, garnering over 4.5 million views!

To promote images of engaged fatherhood in the public sphere, in partnership with the Swedish Consulate, we launched the Fatherhood Moments photographic exhibition on June 7th 2017, which depicted Turkish and Swedish portraits of engaged fathers. Inspired from the Swedish photographer Johan Bävman, two Turkish photographers Ahmet Görsev and Zeynep Sezerman captured intimate portraits of fathers from Turkish homes to champion gender equality in child care. The exhibition traveled to several Turkish provinces and was viewed by more than 75,000 people.

To engage new partners and continue efforts for the involved fatherhood agenda, we begin a private sector initiative with UNFPA-Turkey. This collaboration aims to raise awareness among participating private-sector representatives about the notion of male engagement, specifically involved fatherhood. Private sector companies will be provided with a set of materials on how to promote involved fatherhood, and make the structural changes required in related areas like human resource policies, manufactured products, and services.

We are grateful to all our partners who have joined us in saying “Fatherhood Comes First” and thank them for their support in helping us improve the lives of children!