ISLAMABAD - Father's Day is a celebration honouring fathers and appreciating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and their influence in society. The day is observed in Pakistan on 16th of every June to pay tribute to overwhelming role of fathers in their families.On the day (today), Rutgers World Population Foundation (WPF) will launch a yearlong campaign titled "Greening Pakistan-Promoting Responsible Fatherhood" across Pakistan to promote active fatherhood and responsibility for the care and upbringing of children. This campaign will be implemented across Pakistan with the help of local implementing partners including Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi.The campaign is focussed on transforming rigid perception of our society where men are generally expected to be only providers and breadwinners while women and girls are generally expected to give care for children and be chiefly responsible for reproductive aspects of family life. Due to these set patterns, fathers are usually more responsive to children but less expressive in showing emotions towards his children which is affecting the overall development of family and are the main reasons behind increasing trend of various social issues, explained Amina Sarwar, communication officer at Rutgers WPF. This initiative has been carried out for the promotion of responsive and care giving fathers for prevention of child marriages and domestic violence to create an enabling environment where women and children can access their basic human rights, she informed. Responsible and supportive fathers are the focal point of this campaign and will be engaged to advocate for providing a non-violent environment to children at home to transform their behavior towards strengthening gender equality and empowering women. Most importantly, this campaign will effectively contribute to strengthen the advocacy efforts for required legislative reforms on domestic violence and child marriages.Pakistan is a patriarchal society where men are the primary authority and women are subordinate. This has serious implications on women's health and social development as well as on men's health and interpersonal relationship. For any behavioral and environmental change to lead to a long-term impact on women's lives it is critical to engage men. Men can be engaged as fathers for providing a non-violent environment to the children at home to transform their children behavior towards strengthening gender equality and empowering women.For the campaign, local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and community leaders will be sensitised on the concept of responsible fatherhood through varied awareness raising activities. Media campaigns including radio messages and television talk shows are the most important feature to sensitise different stakeholders on the targeted issues at all levels. For more effective results, there is also need of civil society organisations working on the same thematic area to join hands for this initiative. The campaign will be concluded on next father's day in 2014.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 16-Jun-2013 here.