Johan Bävman is a Swedish photographer. Sweden government allows parents to spend time with their children during the 480 days. And generally parental leave system is for mothers although Sweden government has gender equality systems on parental leave. The government permits to fathers for using parental leave systems during the 60 days although a few dad choose to use this permission. Then Johan Bävman decided to have a project about the this situation. Here is some photos.
Johan Bävman said that ‘It started when I was home with my own son. That was 1.5 years ago. I couldn’t find literature or anything that related to me as a father. The system in Sweden, and in other countries as well, is more aimed at the woman in the family. I wanted to figure out if I could bring out role models dads can relate to. I didn’t want to have the Super Dad. I wanted to have the dads who show us the difficulties of having a child. Being at home parentally, it’s not always easy — it’s like a full-time job, or even more. That’s something we have been taking for granted and haven’t celebrated women for. Women have been doing this for ages, for centuries. So I actually thought I would have some comments from women saying, “If it was women in the pictures, it wouldn’t be a big thing; once again we focus on the small piece of the father or the man doing it correctly.” In Swedish society, though, we are lacking role models for men to connect to. ‘
Johan told that ‘In the beginning I thought it was an economic issue, why the parents don’t share days at home equally. But while I’ve been taking these pictures, I realized it was also a structural failure and a cultural failure. We think of ourselves as the most equal country in the world, and I think many other countries do too. We pat ourselves on the back and say, “We are by far the most equal country in terms of parental leave.” But it’s only 12 percent of families who share the days equally between partners. For us to say we are the most equal country, 12 percent is not good enough.’
Johan explained that ‘With this project, I want to find out why these men have chosen to stay at home so much longer than the majority of Swedish dads. What has it done for them, how have their relationships with their partner and their child changed, and what expectations did they have before taking parental leave?’
Johan Bävman explained that ‘There are two aims to this project. The first is to describe the background to Sweden’s unique parental allowance. The second is to inspire other fathers – in Sweden, and further afield – to consider the positive benefits of such a system. ‘