State of the World's Fathers

A MenCare Advocacy Publication 2015


Date of publication:  12 Jun 2015 Authors:  Levtov R van der Gaag N Greene M Kaufman M Barker G. Publisher:  MenCare Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

This is the first report about fatherhood around the world which is represented together with available data and studies from all countries. The report emphasizes the pivotal role of fatherhood in households in increasing women's empowerment and gender equality, as well as its contribution to changing of existing power relations  in any society. It also claims that there is a need for change towards the attitude of fatherhood and its importance in order to improve children wellbeing, reduce violence and their exploitation.

The key findings of the report:

  • Involved fatherhood helps children thrive;
  • Involved  fatherhood  allows  women  and  girls  to  achieve their full potential – now and in future generations;
  • Involved fatherhood makes men happier and healthier;
  • Men’s involvement in caregiving is increasing in some parts of  the  world,  but  nowhere  does  it  equal  that  of  women;
  • Fathers want to spend more time with their children;
  • Men’s  participation  and  support  are urgently needed to ensure that all children are wanted children;
  • Engaging  men  –  in  ways  that  women  want  –  early  on  in pre-natal  visits,  in  childbirth,  and  immediately  after  the birth of a child can bring lasting benefits;
  • Promoting  fathers’  involvement  must  include  efforts  to interrupt  the  cycle  of  violence;
  • Children,  women,  and  men  benefit  when  fathers  take  parental leave;
  • Men’s greater involvement in care work also brings economic benefits.

Recommendations for changing the State of the World's Fathers:

  • Create  national  and  international  action  plans  to  promote involved, non-violent fatherhood and men’s and boys’ equal sharing  of  unpaid  care  work;
  • Take these action plans and policies into public systems and institutions to enable and promote men’s equal participation in parenting and caregiving;
  • Institute and implement equal, paid, and non-transferrable parental leave policies in both public and private sectors, as well as other policies that allow women’s equal participation in the labor force and men’s equal participation in unpaid care work;
  • Gather and analyze data on men’s involvement as fathers and caregivers and generate new evidence from programs and policies;
  • Achieve  a  radical  transformation  in  the  distribution  of care  work  through  programs  with  men  and  boys,  as  well as with women and girls, that challenge social norms and promote their positive involvement in the lives of children;
  • Recognize the diversity of men’s caregiving and support it in all of its forms. 
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