In Vietnam, MenCare helps open photo exhibition on importance of parental leave

A young boy in Vietnam with a hat.

In connection with International Women’s Day, on March 3 the Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi, Vietnam launched a photo exhibition about fathers and caregiving, “Swedish Dads,” by Swedish photographer Johan Bävman.

When Johan Bävman was an expectant father, he had trouble finding information and guidance to help him with his new role as a dad. Thus the idea of “Swedish Dads” was born. “Swedish Dads” is a series of portraits of fathers who took parental leave (Sweden has one of the most generous parental leave policies in the world) for at least six months.

“I started this project when I was home with my own son. I had a hard time finding anything that was written for me as a father. So I got the idea that I wanted to document fathers during their parental leave, to hear why they wanted to be home with their children and what they hoped to learn from it,” said Johan Bävman.

Why did these men choose to stay at home? How has it helped them? How have their relationships with their partners and their children changed? What expectations did they have before taking parental leave? Their answers can be seen – together with their photos – in the Swedish Embassy’s exhibition in Kim Ma/Nui Truc, Hanoi, Vietnam.

At the exhibition’s kick off, Ambassador Camilla Mellander made the opening remarks. Then, there was a short question and answer session with a panel comprised of Swedish dads, a Vietnamese father, and representatives from UN Women and the Ministry of Education and Training.

See photos from the exhibition here.