Prio Baba: Responsible Father, Happy Family, Prosperous Country”
“Prio Baba: Responsible Father, Happy Family, Prosperous Country” with this motto Prio Baba Campaign, a a part of the global MenCare Campaign, successfully completed its journey of 21 months with the Center for Men and Masculinities Studies (CMMS). The action research initiative was implemented by CMMS, with financial support from the UBS Optimus Fund and with technical support from Promundo. The initiative tried to identify most effective ways to involve fathers in preventing all kinds of discriminations against women and girls at the household and beyond.
, With this goal in mind, Prio baba Campaign conducted awareness raising programs in the rural areas of five districts of Bangladesh for the last 21 months. The programs involved mostly fathers and sensitized them about family planning, rights of wives and children, and the negative impacts of domestic violence.
Habibur Rahman, an exemplary father, sharing his experiences
The programs include arranging community dialogue sessions and launching ‘role model initiatives’ in the community so that the fathers, who are the decision makers in Bangladesh’s patriarchal family structure, feel encouraged to stop violence in their own households. . Besides, another major component of the program was to arrange training sessions for fathers in the villages of five districts. To conduct the training sessions, CMMS adapted the Program P manual of Promundo in conformity with the social contexts of Bangladesh. CMMS also recruited a group of efficient trainers and arranged nine TOTs (training of trainers) for them to make them familiar with the manual. These trainers arranged, in total 60 sensitizing training sessions and 50 village level advocacy workshops in five districts. The program was implemented in Pabna, Sirajganj, Natore, Coxsbazar and Rangpur District among the religious minority groups, ethnic groups and extreme poor groups. Total 1200 men and 420 women participated in the community dialogue sessions. Sessions were conducted in groups; each group consisted of 20 people. 41 groups were formed by fathers only, and 38 groups were formed where the mothers of the children accompanied the fathers. In total 796 health service providers including family planning workers from the public health system, nurses, pharmacists and local level medical practitioners were sensitized to give specific counseling services for fathers.
One of the Prio Baba Campaign workshops to motivate fathers to establish good practices in families
Finally the project was concluded with its dissemination program held in July 19, 2017. The project dissemination seminar was organized with significant participation of academicians, NGO officials and young students of different ages. The seminar was held at the Plenary Hall of Senate Bhaban of the University of Dhaka. At the event, Dr. Sayed Saikh Imtiaz, lead researcher of the project and chairperson of Center for Men and Masculinities Studies shared findings on fatherhood; violence against children; men’s involvement in maternal and neonatal care child health and household chores; conjugal relationship and its impact on children and violence against women. The findings shed light on the contextual adaptation of Program P module which was used throughout the campaign. . AJM Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan, Dean of Social Science Faculty of University of Dhaka chaired the event. Sharmin Islam, Executive Director of CMMS, Naheem Razzak, Member of the Parliament also spoke during the seminar.
University students, teachers, researchers, NGO workers, government officials and journalists attended the dissemination seminar
Eight fathers were awarded at the event for their exemplary practices that empowered women and children of their lives. They were declared as the role model fathers who declined the traditional practice of fatherhood and sensitized people about the rights of women and children. The awarded fathers are Hafez Md Golam Rabbani, Habibur Rahman, Dilip Chandra Das, Md Delwar Hossain from Rangpur, Md Selim Uddin and Md Nasir from Cox's Bazaar; and Baser Molla and Md Nurul Islam from Pabna. Nahim Razzaq, member of the parliamentary standing committee on ministry of youth and sports, and Abigail Fried, Program Assistant of Promundo-US, conferred the awards to the fathers. The seminar and the program attracted national media attention and the Prio Baba Campaign and its dissemination seminar was acclaimed countrywide. Some of the examples of media coverage on Prio Baba Campaigns are given below: