The Center for Gender and Social Transformation (CGST) based at the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University is organising a photo exhibition at the Dhaka Art Center in Dhanmandi from 23-28 August 2014 as part of their work on unpaid care. Organised in partnership with Actionaid Bangladesh and the Dhaka Art Center, entitled 'Bhinno Rupe Purush' (Images of Caring Men), the photo exhibition is the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
The exhibition showcases works by 21 amateur and professional photographers, containing over 90 photos and 2 videos. These photos depict stories of ordinary men from all over Bangladesh, who cook, clean, help their wives, parents, siblings, take care of children and the elderly every day as an integral part of their lives. In most families in Bangladesh, women and girls perform these tasks which fall under unpaid care work. They spend an average of 6 hours every day, amounting to about 2190 hours on average in a year. The demand for care at home limits women's and girls' time for engaging in full-time employment, continuing education, getting jobs that require travel or have longer hours, and having time for leisure. The photos show that women are able to achieve much more if the men in their lives care.
The exhibition also aims to draw attention to the fact that unpaid care work is an important concern for Bangladesh. Demographic changes have led to an increase in the number of elderly and young who need care. The increase in nuclear households in rural and urban areas as well as the rise in female labour force participation and migration has meant that traditional care givers (women and extended family members) may not be present when the need for child/elderly and disabled care rises.
The photos are stories and images of love, affection, care, and nurturing that challenge our very ideas about: men’s work; women’s role and work; what everyday expressions of love look like; and why unpaid care work and masculinity are issues that we need to think about.