From where I stand: “Kids should see their father is not afraid to be weak sometimes, and their mother isn't afraid to be strong”

Dmytro Shurov, Ukranian singer and opinion leader, is the first HeForShe advocate in Ukraine. Often appearing at major events with his 14-year-old son Lev Shurov, he speaks about fatherhood, sharing domestic work and child care responsibilities at home.


Dmytro Shurov (right) and his son Lev Shurov discuss the HeForShe movement. Photo: UN Women/Volodymyr Shuvaev
Dmytro Shurov (right) and his son Lev Shurov. Photo: UN Women/Volodymyr Shuvaev


When I was a kid, my father was busy with many things. He was a writer, poet and actor. I rarely saw him, which is why I try to do everything together with my son. I take Lev on tour with me, so he can see the amount of work that goes into having a public career of a musician.

In my opinion, the best way to raise a child is by example as your child takes after you. Unfortunately, in most cases fathers are not so close to their children as mothers are.

I often talk to my son about gender roles because this topic is relevant. One of the main gender inequalities I see among my friends is that husbands do not usually do the housework. I call this 'having kitten paws'. Women come home from work and continue to work. This responsibility should be shared.

People are born to be happy and all of us have equal rights. Everything starts with families: I think, kids should get their parent`s attention equally, they should see their father is not afraid to be weak sometimes, and their mother isn't afraid to be strong. It`s an honour for us to become part of the gender equality campaign. Women have been fighting for their rights for many years and, unfortunately, men are rarely involved in this struggle.

I do not like labels `superdad` and `supermom. I prefer the idea of `superfamily’—different people who want to be together as a team.”

SDG 5: Gender equality

Dmytro Shurov, is a famous singer, jury member of the Ukrainian X-Factor TV-show, opinion leader and the first advocate of HeForShe movement in Ukraine. Recently, Shurov and his son Lev spoke at the Docudays International Human Rights Film Festival and International Book Festival (`Book Arsenal`) about the importance of men’s role in achieving gender equality. His story relates to the Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and empowerment of women, and shows how men can be allies in the movement for gender equality.