Breaking gender stereotypes: ‘Parenting Unlabelled’ encourages Arab families to explore new perspectives
Since 1950, Mustela has been a leading French skincare brand providing families with natural origin cosmetic products. Now, they’re taking their commitment to the next level with the ‘Parenting Unlabelled’ community project support parents throughout their journey.
The objective is to raise awareness about parenting gender roles in the Middle East, encouraging parents to break free from traditional gender biases and stereotypes, removing barriers and promoting gender equality within the family unit.”
Participants got the opportunity to express themselves and have their voices heard at workshops held throughout the UAE, Egypt, and KSA. The Photovoice project was launched to study and capture contemporary gender roles and parental responsibilities in the home. Parents were able to snap pictures of their emotions and difficulties and then add their voices to those pictures by writing descriptions of how they saw their pictures.
The workshop revealed key insights into the roles of modern parenting:
Working mothers are struggling with their multiple roles inside and outside of the home. Mothers are weighted by the unrealistic expectation of the ‘perfect’ mother, wife and employee together with the mental load that they are carrying.
Meanwhile, Arab Fathers expressed a similar struggle but on a different level – which is the unrealistic expectation from marriage and what is expected from them within the partnership. Participating men also referred to the stigma around their roles as fathers and how it is often not accepted by their families and social ‘judgements’..
Expat parents had a different perspective to their Arab counterparts and were more likely to be exposed to and be practicing the less traditional gender roles and balance.
The Photovoices exhibition was showcased at the Parenting Unlabelled event in Dubai where project participants, educational content creators and professionals from across the GCC came together to create awareness about gender roles in Parenting.
The event featured insightful panel discussions from the perspectives of contemporary fatherhood and motherhood, as well as a professional viewpoint on how to collaborate to fight gender bias, manage workloads, strike a balance between partnerships in the home, and address the difficulties of raising families with special needs.
The discussion covered topics such as the father’s genuine significance in the family, the benefits of positive male role modelling on a child’s growth, and the difficulties faced by moms who want to split the household’s physical and mental labour more fairly. The joint efforts of communities and organizations to promote family wellbeing were also discussed throughout the panels. This societal issue was addressed from the perspectives of education, the media, and how the private sector, as a component of the community at large, may also have an impact and work on it.
MEA Marketing Manager for Mustela, Eman ElGhandour said: “With such an impactful project, we wanted to bring everything together to discuss the mountain of insights and topics raised. We wanted to give a voice for the parents to express themselves and understand the joys, challenges and experiences of modern parenting and family lifestyle. We stand by parents. Mustela has been with parents for over 70 Years doing our best to provide families with organic and safe products. We are also devoted to empowering parents and to ensure their well-being. The Parenting Unlabelled project has certainly helped everyone to open up and realise that they are not alone in their individual journeys, and to reassure them that brands like Mustela are willing to support with all our resources. We are looking forward to growing with the Parenting Unlabelled project by using our reach and platforms to spread positive awareness and truly make a change.”
The next phase of the project will see Mustela Middle East create an educational information hub via its website and online platforms to share insights, content and media that will be used to support and empower families throughout their parenting journey across the region.