Mari Nakani’s photo project is helping redefine Georgian men’s involvement in unpaid care

The survey Men and Gender Relations in Georgia, conducted with UNFPA’s support, finds that only 14% of men in Georgia are primarily responsible for cooking, only 13% do the laundry, and only 12% clean the apartment. The share of men involved in daily childcare activities such as selecting books for their children to read, talking with teachers at school, helping their children with homework, and washing their clothes, does not exceed 5%.

Behind these figures stand the deeply rooted gender stereotypes and social norms in Georgia that keep men and women from sharing household responsibilities equitably; that hold women back from using their knowledge and education; and that discourage men from taking on more responsibility for childcare and domestic work and from being caring fathers, husbands, partners, and family members.

The research confirms that women in Georgia continue to face an unequal burden of unpaid care work, and that cleaning, doing laundry, ironing, and looking after children are still considered to be female jobs. While the majority of women in Georgia now also work outside the home, in addition to caring for the family, men’s involvement in household activities has not caught up.

This unequal burden of care prevents women from advancing their careers and from fully realizing their potential. Despite the fact that, in Georgia, women have 27% more higher education degrees than men do and 50% of women are employed, women are rarely represented in positions of power and decision-making.

A new photography project by Mari Nakani, a famous Georgian fashion photographer, aims to challenge these gender stereotypes and redefine men’s involvement at home. Dedicated to the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, the photo project promotes gender-equitable sharing of the care work, including raising children and household chores.

Mari Nakani focuses on men who do not divide household responsibilities based on gender, and who believe that happy, healthy families can only be built through mutual respect and equality. The participants in the photo project believe that gender roles are changing in contemporary Georgia. They believe that it is time to leave behind gender stereotypes and to recognize that if men and women participate equally at work and at home, society as a whole will benefit.

The photo project was organized with the involvement of MenCare partners in Georgia. The MenCare campaign in Georgia is implemented by UNFPA Georgia’s Country Office in partnership with the NGO We Care, within the framework of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality funded by the Government of Sweden. The campaign promotes men’s involvement as equitable, nonviolent fathers and caregivers in order to achieve family well-being, gender equality, and better health for mothers, fathers, and children.

See photos from the project below: