We don't always hear fathers' thoughts about feminism...but this husband-and-wife duo is encouraging that important father-daughter conversation.

By Zara Husaini Hanawalt

When married couple Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina embarked on a project of photoraphing 365 women for a book they were working on, they quickly realized something: The conversation around feminism is almost always told through stories of women.

Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina​

"We're used to women talking about feminism and issues of women's role in our society, but to win every battle I think you need all hands on deck," Hinchey told Parents.com. "[My wife] was like 'I'd really like to hear what men have to say about feminism. I'd like to hear them talking with their daughters to get a different perspective.'"

Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina​

That's how the couple's "Dear Daughters" project was born: Hinchey and Messina, who have a 10-year-old daughter of their own, put the spotlight on the conversations fathers and daughters have about the issue. The project, a series of photographs accompanied by video and text, illuminates the way fathers can have open conversations about women's rights with their kids.

Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina 

The couple met with 22 father-daughter pairs—they asked them to play a board game, which Messina and the couple's daughter created, leading them through a series of questions to encourage discussion about feminism, and to teach both the dads and their daughters a few things.

Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina​​

"[The point of this] was to get another perspective. To get the men on board and to get them to talk about the issue too," Hinchey said. "It just became a fun interaction. It became a moment of them bonding, having fun over a game, and at the same time helping each other. It's not easy for an 11-year-old, and it's not easy for a man to talk about certain things. The game really facilitated a conversation."

Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina

The project's video appears above, and you can learn more about the couple's work here. Has this inspired you to encourage a similar discussion between the dads and daughters in your life?

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May 20, 2020