Scientific research has proven that fathers make a unique and important contribution to their children's early development and life-long success. Young children with involved fathers tend to be more patient and able to handle stress in school. Children with involved fathers are less likely to experience depression, obesity, teen pregnancy and more. It is against this backdrop that a group of young Liberian men, all of whom are fathering kids, have embarked upon an initiative that will ensure that more men take responsibility in bringing up their children.
These group of young men have come together under the banner Liberian Dads for Gender Equality (LIDGE). LIDGE is a dads' gender advocacy group established in January of this year. It was inspired by the "Swedish Dads" photo exhibition created by renowned Swedish photographer Johan Bavman.
A parallel Liberian Dads photo exhibition has since been carried out by the Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia. Out of the 12 Liberian Dads whose images were exhibited, three, Philip Quoqui, a social worker; Nyumah Sylvester Gborie, a Police Officer and Moses Kollie Garzeawu, a journalist, conceived the idea of establishing LIDGE.
LIDGE's mission is to provide a space for "positive male support to gender equality" which obligates members to ensure that every man understands and addresses issues hindering the growth and empowerment of women and girls.
The organization also acknowledged the technical, financial and moral support it received from the Swedish Embassy and UNICEF--two institutions with whom the program was co-created.
The launch was occasioned by the Liberian Dads Photo Exhibition; insight on the rights of fathers, children and mothers and the role of fathers in the homes and a panel discussion where panelists, many of whom are males, provided their perspectives on how they are raising this generation of children, what they think and how they feel.