Play with dad


"Play with Dad" project is a part of a broader project "Gender Responsible Management – Redistributing Unpaid Care Work" run by UN Women Serbia, in cooperation with the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, and with the support of the UK Government and the British Embassy. AFA’s project "Play with Dad" aims to create a fatherhood movement in Serbia that will promote the importance of greater participation of fathers in upbringing of their children. This project has been created in response to global challenges as women perform as much as three times more unpaid care work compared to men and on average women spend 10 years of their life on that kind of work. Unpaid care work is not perceived as „work“ and is not calculated in GDP, although it creates value larger than many economic sectors. When expressed in monetary terms, the value of unpaid care work performed by women around the world equals 10.8 trillion dollars a year, which is three times more than the profit of the global technology industry. Given how much time women devote to the unpaid care work, they have much less time than men to spend on their personal and professional growth. This challenge is particularly pronounced during the Covid-19 pandemic when there is fewer opportunities for external support related to household and childcare (such as cleaning services or babysitting), so majority of this work ends up to be performed by women. Also, the pandemic brought to light the importance of digital literacy in every single segment of life, and that is yet another area where women are lagging behind, as women have lower level of digital literacy than men, which is also to a large extent due to a lack of time women can devote to their professional development.

Within „Play with dad“ project, AFA organized seven online panel sessions with 24 high-rank representatives of global and local companies who shared their experiences of parenthood as well as their tips on how to be a devoted parent while successfully building your career. These panels aimed to inspire others and create some new role models in society. For example, some of the guests we hosted were: Stefan Lazarevic NCR, Jovana Milutinovic Nordeus, Milos Djurkovic SaS, Nebojsa Bjelotomic Saga New Frontier Group, Dragoljub Damljanovic Schneider Electric, Stefan Salom Infostud, Dubravka Negre European Investment Bank, Anja Ivana Milic Arhi.pro, Isidora Usendić Zuehlke, Rebecca Fabrizi British Embassy, Joachim Waern Swedish Embassy, etc. We concluded that it is still hard for women to fight against gender stereotypes and be devoted to their careers and professional development, but also that the situation is getting better with younger generations.

Besides panel discussions, AFA organized two pilot workshops with fathers and their children and one focus group with fathers only in order to come to ideas for future workshops with fathers and children that should be organized all around Serbia. The two pilot workshops were quiz workshops where fathers and children were competing in how well they know each other. We had great fun, but it also helped fathers and children to get to know each other better and realize what they should work on further. Other ideas that we came up together with fathers and children were: quiz workshop; solving logical tasks through game; orienteering in the forest; outdoor games; mountain climbing; sports competitions; board games; making robots; performing magical chemical experiments; designing a mobile phone game; cake decoration for their moms.

At the moment, we are preparing a handbook with guidelines on how such workshops should be organized, so that municipalities around Serbia can some in future, without our assistance. We also plan to have one special panel discussion where we would talk with celebrities as that is the best way to reach out to wider population and raise public awareness about the importance of equal parenting.