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[Must-Read New Reports] The State of the World’s and America’s Fathers

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Sep 12, 2023


Two new reports describe the role of fathers across the globe and in the United States as caregivers. They’re must-reads for anyone who serves fathers.

The international organization Equimundo recently released the State of the World’s Fathers 2023 and the State of America’s Fathers 2023. The former report is its fifth such global report. The latter report is its first report on fathers in the United States (U.S.). Both reports focus on the role of men and fathers as caregivers for children and others (e.g., aging parents).

The World’s Fathers

The State of the World’s Fathers 2023 uses data from a survey of 11,999 individuals in 17 countries (including the United States) to reveal:

  • The distribution of caregiving by gender
  • Gender norms on caregiving
  • The need for advocacy and policy change on caregiving
  • The importance of parental leave

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Care matters for everyone—63% of respondents care for a partner, 60% care for children, and 36% care for an elderly family member
  • Although fathers feel equally responsible for care work, mothers overall are still doing the most caregiving
  • Men who take greater emotional care of themselves are more likely to report that they care for others
  • The majority of women and men agree that care work is the responsibility of women and men
  • While most parents say they have some kind of support, just under one in five parents say they have no support
  • More than half of both mothers and fathers said that political activism for care leave policies was important to them
  • Among those who were employed and offered leave but did not take all the leave available, the lack of sufficient replacement pay was the most common reason, mentioned by half of men and women

The report also includes recommendations for how to center care systems in policies and public institutions.

America’s Fathers

The State of America’s Fathers 2023 uses data from a survey of 1,589 individuals in the U.S. The results are presented as “10 Headlines.” Some of those headlines are:

  • Post-pandemic, mothers are spending more time on parenting care than fathers, but many fathers report doing an equal share
  • Universal paid leave is the only way to correct the wide inequalities in access to leave in the U.S.
  • Most fathers say they would work less to spend time with their newborn children and are willing to take action to do so
  • Most people and especially parents (particularly fathers) are ready to be activists for care policies
  • Even when entitled to paid parental leave, fathers take less than half of what mothers do
  • Fathers of color—Black fathers in particular—report doing more hours of care than White fathers even after controlling for income, education, age, employment, and residential status

As does its parent report, this report includes recommendations for how to center care systems in policies and public institutions but specifically in the U.S., of course.

I encourage you to download, read, and share both reports. And while you’re at it, explore Equimundo’s website and everything they do to help men and fathers become the caring, nurturing individuals that children and families need them to be.

What do you know about fathers’ views on their role as caregivers?

Does your organization advocate for policies that support fathers in this vital role?

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Topics: fathers role, child well-being, stay-at-home dad, Featured, General Fatherhood Program Resources, General Fatherhood Research & Studies, parenting styles

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