This report has a big ambition: we are calling for nothing less than full equality between women and men, in the workplace and in the home. The third State of the World’s Fathers is rooted firmly in a feminist analysis of care, and the belief that unpaid care work must be valued as much as paid work, and shared equally between men and women.
Globally, women spend significantly more time than men – sometimes up to ten times as much – on unpaid care and domestic work. If this is calculated on the basis of an hourly minimum wage, it could make up 9 to 11 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2018, 606 million women of working age around the world said that they were unable to take on paid work because of unpaid care responsibilities. In countries where women do twice as much unpaid care work as men, their average earnings are less than two-thirds of men’s. This disparity lies at the heart of gender inequality; it keeps women, families, communities, countries, and the world poor.
This report focuses specifically, however, on men, and on men who are fathers and caregivers, because this is still an area where huge shifts are needed. While many men are becoming more engaged as fathers and hands-on caregiving partners, in 23 middle- and high-income countries, the unpaid care gap between men and women has decreased by only seven minutes a day across a 15 year time span. Fewer than half of the world’s countries (48 percent) offer paid paternity leave on the birth of a child, and often this is less than three weeks – or sometimes only a few days. Even when paternity leave exists, too few fathers take leave after the birth or adoption of a child…
SOURCE: Nikki van der Gaag, Brian Heilman, Taveeshi Gupta, Ché Nembhard, Gary Barker. “State of the World’s Fathers: Unlocking the Power of Men’s Care” MenCare, 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia