South Africa is producing a new breed of feminist dads who are fighting for the future of women in the country.
By Farai Diza - Freelance journalist
Feminist dads are courageous men who raise their boys and girls equally. They uplift family values as they strive to build happier, healthier and more successful kids. Research has shown that children thrive to become better when they have their parents' support and acknowledgement.
Feminist dads level the playing field between genders and ensure that diverse women and girls have the same opportunities in life available to boys and men.
Local celebrity dads such as award-winning rapper AKA, DJ Sbu and Kabelo Mabalane have shown their appreciation for the advancement of girl children by using their social media platforms to support their children’s activities and spending time with them.
Giving female children the lead is what makes feminist dads popular.
1. AKA and Kairo
AKA often shares photos of himself and his little princess with encouraging captions:
2. DJ Sbu
DJ Sbu isn't only creating opportunities for all South Africans, but he encourages women in particular to soar.
He too has a daughter, so it's pretty obvious that he wants women to succeed, just like he wants his princess to be successful.
3. Kabelo Mabalane
Father of two, Kabelo Mabalane, is all about raising his children as equals. He has a son and daughter, Khumo and Zoe.
Briefly.co.za decided to take to the streets to find out from local fathers if they think it's important to be feminist fathers:
Mthulisi Sibanda is a father to three primary school-going children – two girls and a boy.
He raises them in a modest family environment together with his wife. But he shifted from the traditional paternal role of fathers to being an ever-present parent.
“Endlini yami (in my home), there is no such thing as umntwana ongumfana mele athole ukwedlula intombazane (a boy child must have an advantage ahead of the girl child).
"All tasks are done equally. And I have taught my children that mental strength is stronger than physical strength. The girls are always at the forefront when I’m changing my tyres.
“The reason I guide them is because I want to instil that positive energy so that they can grow up knowing anything is possible.
"They mustn’t be afraid of chasing their dreams. With the advancement of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, equality in the home and workspaces will build on equality,” he said.
Sibanda is one of many dads who are building an equal generation. While many men shy away from the ‘feminist dad’ tagline, the future of South African women lies in their grooming skills.
A Randburg community elderly, who spoke on condition of anonymity, divulged that men have a key role to play in the advancement of women’s rights because society has changed.
“When we were growing up, boys and girls all had separate roles to play in the household. The smaller tasks were for the girls while boys did the difficult stuff. I think that is where society got it wrong. Because that mentality shifted to the work station and women have never been seen as equals,” he narrated.
An old English adage states that charity begins at home. Feminist dads help their daughters lead and celebrate all their efforts.
While women have vocally been advocating for equality, the buck doesn’t stop there. With the emergence of feminist dads, men are raising their voices.
Several civic, student and gender equality lobby groups have a fair share of men clamouring for equality. It has seen a euphoria shift towards the appreciation and empowerment of women in the realm of society.
An ideology has proved that telling your kids “You can do anything” is not nearly as effective as showing them they can!
Feminist dads are proving that a gender-equal society is achievable in the near future.
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