MenCare Bulgaria celebrates Pink Shirt Day: “Men against bullying: We care about our children!”

Children and adults dressed in pink hold pink balloons.

MenCare Bulgaria believes that men can play a key role in helping to end bullying in schools, from children’s early years through their adolescence. This is why the country’s “Being a Dad” campaign promoted, for the first time ever, Pink Shirt Day on February 24. Pink Shirt Day, which began in Canada and is now celebrated around the world, is an awareness-raising initiative in which participants wear an article of pink clothing to symbolize that they will not tolerate bullying.

What did MenCare Bulgaria discover through its participation in Pink Shirt Day?

It learned that more schools in Bulgaria celebrate Pink Shirt Day than originally anticipated, and that many were eager to invite fathers and other male caregivers to join the celebration and to take a stand against bullying. It learned that, due to ingrained gender stereotypes, many men were hesitant to wear pink shirts (although pink ribbons were more acceptable). It learned that, while the media traditionally covers the negative side of bullying, it is also interested in highlighting positive stories of fathers who are involved in their children’s education and who take a stand against bullying.

Even though the event was organized on short notice, the “Being a Dad” team was interviewed by Bulgaria’s most popular online news outlet and its most watched TV channel. The campaign used this exposure to help raise awareness about bullying as a serious problem and to challenge men’s stereotypes about pink clothing.

MenCare Bulgaria plans to continue its participation in Pink Shirt Day in coming years – and to use it as an opportunity to share the importance of positive and involved fatherhood.