#DPF2015 Exhibition: Swedish Dads

Samad Kohigoltapeh, 32 years, Construction Engineer. Leave jointly for the first four months, thereafter six months on his own with the twins Parisa and Leia, one week old.  –The children were not planned, the notice was a shock and the jitters around becoming a dad became very real. Once I googled “fetus in the twelfth week” we could no longer go ahead with the planned abortion.  Now that you’ve decided to bring two new individuals into this world you also have to take on the responsibility to raise them throughout their lives. –I had to argue with my partner to get my months with the children, since I think it is important that the children have a present father early on in their lives. Therefore it was important to me to also get the opportunity to take paternity leave for as long as I wanted.  -Men are absent from the first time because of lack of knowledge – babies need both their parents early on in their lives.  I have a lot to recuperate now that the children have been in my wife’s belly for nine months. Finally I can spend time with my darlings Parisa and Leia, that is why I have chosen to stay at home together with my partner during the first three months.  Background:  Swedish dads No other country provides such generous terms of parental leave as Sweden.  The current system allows parents to stay at home with their child during 480 days in total – while receiving an allowance from the State. Out of these 480 days, sixty must be taken by the father or else are lost. Legislation is underway to reserve another thirty days for  paternity leave.  The purpose of this allocation is to improve gender equality. In order to promote a more equal sharing of parental leave between men and women, a so called equality bonus has also been introduced. The more days that are shared between parents, the higher the bonus. A couple may receive up to 1 500 euro in bonus.  In spite of the generous allowance and bonus – unique in their kind –  only a

Samad Kohigoltapeh, 32 years, Construction Engineer.

Johan Bävman documents fathers on paternity leave in Sweden.

Compared to other countries, Sweden has a generous paternity leave legislation. In a bid to improve gender equality, they offer 16 months of paid leave that can be taken by either parents. Of these 16 months, two months are mandatory for fathers.

In this series, Johan Bävman documents dads who use this time well to be with their children. “I started this project when I was home with my own son,” said Bävman in an article on Buzzfeed.com “I had a hard time finding anything that was written for me as a father. So I got the idea that I wanted to document fathers during their [parental] leave, to hear why they wanted to be home with their children and what they hoped to learn from it.”

Johan Bävman is a photographer based in Malmö, a town in the south of Sweden, close to Copenhagen, Denmark. Between the years 2008-2011 he was employed as a staff photographer at Sydsvenskan, one of the largest newspapers in Sweden. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Geo Magazine and International Herald Tribune.

Swedish Dads are part of the exhibition line-up for this edition of the Delhi Photo Festival starting on October 30 at the IGNCA, Delhi.

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