Father’s day in Kazakhstan: fathers inspiring fathers
Date: Friday, June 14, 2019
Fathers from different walks of life joined the United Nations in Kazakhstan to share stories of parenting on the eve of Father’s Day - an international celebration of fatherhood in more than 80 countries.
The event, organized by the UN Population Fund, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Women, featured fathers engaged in the media, international development, civil society and advocacy. The speakers shared their stories of what it means to be a dad, how they overcame certain challenges and remained present in the lives of their children and their family.
“It is widely recognized that involving fathers in the upbringing of children and childcare doesn’t only positively influence the overall development of a child, but also makes stronger families by promoting an equal division of domestic responsibilities between spouses,” said UN Resident Coordinator Norimasa Shimomura.
“This is unfortunate not only because it leaves too large a share of the childcare task to mothers, but also because children and fathers themselves miss out on so much if they do not take a big part in raising their children,” said UN Resident Coordinator Norimasa Shimomura.
Globally, men are becoming more engaged in childcare and household work. But the progress is slow. Between 1997 and 2012, the gender gap in time spent on unpaid care declined by only seven minutes per day.
These inequalities persist even when women work equal hours outside the home. Today, in Kazakhstan women’s labour force participation is at 66 per cent which is quite high and is only 11 per cent behind men’s labour force participation. At the same time, women, on average, spend about twice as much time as men doing unpaid household work, including caring for children.
Speakers at the event included UNICEF Representative Arthur van Diesen, TV host Daniyar Koshkarbayev, founder “Autism. Accessible Environment” Rulsan Kazybayev, and a lawyer and social media influencer Medet Usserov. The speakers shared stories of being a divorced father, being a father of a child with special needs and a father of young children.
Ruslan Kazybayev, acting chairman of Kazakhstan’s Fathers’ Union, spoke about his personal journey to becoming an involved father. At the age of four, his son was diagnosed with autism.
To create an enabling environment for children with special needs Ruslan set up a foundation “Autism. Доступная среда” (“Autism. Accessible Environment”). His mission is to make involved and responsible fatherhood the new norm in the society.
“We tend to think that fathers are there to provide financially for their family and to discipline a child if they misbehave. Being an involved father is about being a partner to your wife, being a friend to your child, and sharing the family responsibilities,” said Ruslan.
In 2016, Kazakhstan adopted its Family and Gender Policy until 2030 which promotes equal sharing of family responsibilities, including childcare and household duties.
 Women and men of Kazakhstan 2013-2017.