MenCare partner, Acev, making strides to end violence by engaging men as fathers in Turkey

A family in TurkeyBy: Pinar Arslan

In light of our experiences with the Father Support Program (FSP), founded in 1996, we launched the “You Are My Father” Campaign in June 2012, which has been a milestone in highlighting the importance of engaged fatherhood. The “You Are My Father” campaign is the first of its kind held in Turkey, and has focused its messages on fathers taking responsibility in child development, establishing democratic relationships within their families, and spreading their non-violent attitudes via various channels throughout society.

The “You Are My Father” campaign will continue in 2013. New messages concerning engaged and egalitarian fatherhood, and uses of visual tools like posters, banners, TV and radio shows will be promoted. On March 28th, the symposium, “Being A Father in Turkey: Responsibilities, Rights and Solutions for Gender Equality” will be presented collectively with the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, our partner in the field of prevention of domestic violence, in order to reach out to a much wider audience with our established messages, and to spread them via different channels. The aim here is to get society’s attention by inviting particularly well-known authors, actors and politicians to speak out on these issues.

Having a considerable impact on manhood and fatherhood, and forcing men to question and discuss their roles within society, the “You Are My Father” campaign has also raised the level of attention of the Father Support Program. Besides this, many fathers’ feedback has affirmed that they have begun to think about things they had never before considered and have been trying to act differently by making changes in their relationships with their children and wives after having been exposed to the campaign’s messages.

Our activities within the “You Are My Father” campaign have also inspired various participant fathers (in FSP) in the Gaziosmanpaşa district in Istanbul to found the Father Support Association with the aim of advocating for positive and effective fatherhood. In the coming year, fathers will advocate for engaged and non-violent fatherhood in this socioeconomically disadvantaged zone.

About ACEV

Ever since it was founded in 1993, the Mother & Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) has carried out educational activities aimed children in need and their families, to ensure that such children have the benefit of a good and wholesome “early childhood experience,” of contributing towards a better society, and of achieving equality in educational opportunity. Visit ACEV.