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A Zoom Image of Sierra Leone’s Minister of Education Raises New Debate

At first it looks like a cute Twitter picture to cheer us up in these uncertain times. But as the man sharing the image of his 10-month-old daughter tied to his back during an online meeting was Sierra Leone’s education minister, the conversation turned to gender roles. David Moinina Sengeh said he wanted to set an example for other men. He told the BBC that it was very rare to see a child on a father’s back in his country. Of course, a picture of a woman with a baby on her back would have barely raised an eyebrow, something which the 33-year-old acknowledges. “Many women do this daily, but it is so normalised that we don’t talk about it at all. If it was my wife who did it then this would not have been a viral tweet,” he told the BBC’s Newsday programme from Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, where there is a partial lockdown to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The education minister was in the kitchen at home feeding Peynina when he started taking part in a Zoom meeting. He noticed that she looked sleepy, so decided to tie her on his back in order to carry on with the meeting.