85 Percent of Fathers Say They Would Do Anything To Be Very Involved in Caring for Their New Child, but Are Still Taking on Far Less Than Mothers

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Today, Promundo and partners launch State of the World’s Fathers 2019, revealing new data and analysis from over 40 countries, and recommendations to close the unpaid care gap.

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The third State of the World’s Fathers report launches today at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

State of the World’s Fathers is produced by Promundo, co-coordinator of MenCare: A Global Fatherhood Campaign – which is active in over 50 countries. The report reveals new research findings, conducted with Unilever, Dove Men+Care in seven countries and from Plan International Canada in four countries – drawing from interviews and surveys of nearly 12,000 individuals. It also includes cross-country data analysis from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey in more than 30 countries, and it provides recommendations to close the unpaid care gap in support of achieving gender equality.
KEY FINDINGS:
  • New research across seven countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, UK, and US) finds that 85 percent* of fathers say that they would be willing to do anything to be very involved in the early weeks and months of caring for their newly born or adopted child.
  • Women want men to take paternity leave and say it would improve their own health. Across the seven middle- and high-income countries surveyed, over 65 percent of women say mothers would have better physical health, and over 72 percent say they would have better mental health if fathers took at least two weeks paternity leave, reveals the report.
  • Yet, no country in the world has achieved equality in unpaid care work – or pay equality – between men and women. The progress is incredibly slow. Across 23 middle- and high-income countries, the unpaid care gap has closed by just seven minutes over the past several decades. Globally, women spend significantly more time than men – sometimes up to ten times as much. Analysis of time use data finds that if men took on at least 50 minutes more care per day (and women did 50 minutes less), we would tip the scale toward equality.
  • The report identifies three major barriers: (1) the lack of adequate, paid paternity leave and low take-up of leave when it is available; (2) restrictive gender norms that position care as women’s responsibility, alongside the perception of women as more competent caregivers than men; and (3) a lack of economic security and government support for all parents and caregivers.
State of the World's Fathers 2019 provides concrete recommendations for individuals, communities, workplaces, and governments to achieve men's uptake of 50 percent of the world's unpaid care work. Having engaged, caring fathers can advance gender equality and women’s health. When fathers take on an equal share of the care work, it will accelerate progress for this generation and for the next, helping their children to support gender equality and break stereotypes.

"We must accelerate national commitments to support all children, parents, and families to thrive, and to achieve men’s uptake of half of the daily care of children and of our homes. Full stop," says Gary Barker, President and CEO of Promundo. "Anything less continues to perpetuate the inequalities that women and girls face every day."

Read the full report and watch the film at: StateoftheWorldsFathers.org
 
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