Last Sunday was the international Father’s Day designated for June 19. Locally, the day almost went by unnoticed with fathers probably getting private messages. Little hype accompanied this day and well, here it is. Gone and awaiting next year.
A few observations. When it’s our day, Mother’s Day, the hype is suffocating with adverts running in some media outlets weeks ahead of the day. Activities are arranged and held to commemorate the day and at times, some powers that be grace the occasion. It is a time the media runs advertorials and covers events to mark the day of the woman with child. That is all so commendable and cherished.
In contrast, the poor fellow (man) with child almost went unnoticed and I am yet to learn about a local Father’s Day arrangement. I know women in Malawi enjoy their locally attributed day as well as the international one.
For a long time, men have been demonised as the less sensitive or considerate. We are living in a world where women are fighting hard to be somewhere as they grumble about being unappreciated for the tremendous role of motherhood and are, yet, to see or experience gender equity. Do we for a moment pause to acknowledge that what we do is simply our God given role without necessarily looking for praises for doing it? I’m a mother and I know exactly what it entails to be one, but must we really cry out to the world for a pat on the back?
Again, do we ever pause momentarily to recognise the roles that some men are playing in the world of fatherhood? Yes, they will not carry a full term pregnancy, but will pay for the medical bills, rentals, buy groceries, school fees, the life insurances, the vehicles and many others. Why, there even some raising children on their own. Are they not worth the attention women too long for?
These are my views and if women seek equity, why not give it before we can speak the same language? Why can’t we and the world do unto the men what we would want done unto us before we can talk about change? Trust me. There are good men out there changing dippers, staying up late into the night alongside their women to care for those sleepless infants, feeding, bathing and clothing babies. They play their roles subtly without screaming out for recognition. But they deserve pullout in newspapers with loving messages from their wives, partners, family and friends to be acknowledged.
I hope next years’ Father’s Day will be different and accompanied with the hype it deserves. I hope there will be a day set aside for our men locally, too. I hope there will be a trip to the lake, dinner and dances and events to commemorate the noble day of the man with child. After all, without the man, there would be no babies. Women have their recognisable roles just like me do. Let us not discriminate because just as the roles differ, the level of commitment may just be equal in supporting each other. We all deserve a little appreciation.
Happy belated Father’s Day to all good men out there.