Embracing Fatherhood for Feminism

A path-breaking new study states that the key to attaining gender equality is to encourage men to be better fathers and take fatherhood more seriously, hence reducing the pressure off women. The study points out how women are still exponentially more responsible towards parenting and house-keeping, than men are.


The inaugural State of the World’s Fathers report states that fathers who choose to be more involved and active as parents will in turn produce much happier and more intelligent offspring, and will even contribute to their own mental well-being. An examination of fathers from various countries pointed out the disparities in household and parenting responsibilities between genders across the globe. India has the highest disparity, with a four and a half hour gap in unpaid labour towards household work.


“Unless men and boys participate equally in unpaid work in the home, and unless governments, employers and families expect and support this involvement, gender equality will not be achieved,” the report writes. “Men’s emotional lives and their wellbeing and happiness will continue to be constrained, and they and their children will miss out on one of the most significant relationships of their lives.”


Across the most developed nations as well, it was found that women undertake at least twice as much domestic duties as do men. The proportion shoots to eight times as much in South Africa and, as a shocking 10 times, when it comes to India. In a 40 year period between 1965 and 2003, the contribution of men towards chores only increased by six hours a week, in superpowers like UK and US, men exceed 37% of that of women. In any case, the time spent by men wasn’t a third of the time women invest all over the world.


The report states that government and corporate policies are still not accepting of fatherhood, and paternity leaves as a concept haven’t caught on. You will be surprised to know that USA passed a legislation mandating paternity leave only this year. This could be a huge factor in subliminally propagating that men fretting over a good work-life balance are the exception, not the norm.


Nikki van der Gaag, the academic and author who co-wrote the report, said to The Guardian that the reversal of gender roles is key to create an atmosphere of equality and fairness in the family. “When fathers take on their fair share of the unpaid care work, it can alter the nature of the relationships between men and women and children.”


Source/Read More: The Guardian

Image Credits: Fatherhood

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