Model Fathers

In honor of our #Dadvocate Twitter Chat on June 11, we asked our Twitter followers to share stories of the ways their fathers had encouraged and supported them, often defying gender stereotypes to do so.  Here we share our favorite responses.


Jean MacIntyre, Alberta, Canada: My Scottish father ‘s father died young, and when he was 11 his mother denied him a merit scholarship so he could start to earn.  Although in the US he took advanced training he was sensitive about not having diplomas, so willingly paid for me to attend the best available preparatory school, the best undergraduate college (Bryn Mawr), and the recommended graduate school (Yale).  In the 1950s many men thought it a waste to educate girls because “they would just get married”; unlike them, my father took big financial chances, even losses. for the sake of filling my mind, even when we fought over ideas.  He died over 40 years ago; to this day I remain grateful.

Mark Kaigwa, Kenya: An officer and a gentleman, my father was a dad and a green thumb – constantly intrigued by botany, flaura and fauna. We camped, hiked, travelled and saw a world that was ours to explore. He stimulated our minds and taught us the value of studying and inquiring from nature. Major (Retired) Murakaru Kaigwa was always the model for me as an entrepreneur, a family man, a husband and father. Not perfect, but always loyal, honest and the best dadvocate I could have. I salute him, today and always.

Navalayo Osembo-Ombati, London, UK:

Poem to my husband 

Happy Father’s Day!

If I call you superman

You wouldn’t believe me.

But how can you not be

When the things you do –

Ordinary but mighty –

Make the impossible possible?


Q and A with Filmmaker Rahul Roy

rahul royThe work of Delhi-based director and writer Rahul Roy probes the theme of masculinity, an angle that is seldom explored in the global dialogue on gender. Roy’s most recent project, Let’s Talk Men 2.0, presents four films from four different South Asian contexts – Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal – that both represent and interrogate masculinity.

WGLG’s Engagement Coordinator in India, Abhishek Srivastava, recently caught up with Roy to discuss the connection between masculinities and gender-based violence, and the role that film plays in communicating these complex narratives. Continue reading

Symbols of Masculinity – A Photo Essay

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What does it mean to be masculine? The Women and Girls Lead Global project in India aims to challenge harmful gender stereotypes that may contribute to gender-based violence, and to cultivate a group of young role models who are inspired to take action to promote positive notions of masculinity. As I’ve begun talking with young […]

Packed Slum Screening Provokes Reflection

The screening was scheduled for 7:30pm, but by 6:00 around 50 young girls and boys had gathered before the big white projector screen that had been set up on an expanse of dirt in the Delhi slum of Madanpur Khadar. As the start time neared, more people crowded into the space – mothers cradling infants, gangs of teenage boys, girls in pink and red and aqua-colored saris – until nearly 200 people were pressed tightly together.  Organized by Women and Girls Lead Global and Magic Bus, a non-profit organization that mentors young people in the slums of Delhi, the event featured a screening of Revolutionary Optimists. The film profiles a group of adolescents in the slums of Calcutta who are being groomed as community organizers by a lawyer-turned-activist named Amlan Ganguly. Because the WGLG India campaign focuses on challenging harmful gender stereotypes as a way of addressing gender-based violence at the roots, one of the key messages that was highlighted at the screening is the mutual respect of the boys and girls in the film, and the exemplary way that they share power and leadership roles. Continue reading

Pink and Blue: Signs of Danger?

BhanwarSingh2  Rajni Magic Bus2

To deepen my understanding of young people’s perception of gender in urban India, I recently ventured to the Bhanwar Singh camp in Delhi with Magic Bus, a WGLG partner organization that mentors youth in the slums across India. Bhanwar Singh is a labyrinth of narrow lanes, open drains, community water taps, and pastel-colored mud and brick houses. Many of the poor families there have migrated from their ancestral villages in hope of work and better educational facilities. Locals strive to make an honest living by driving auto rickshaws or taxis, cleaning houses, selling vegetables or as daily wage labors working on the booming city’s many construction sites. Continue reading

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation. Continue reading