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, Finds State of the World’s Fathers Report

June 5, 2019 – Vancouver, Canada: 50 minutes a day. That’s the amount of additional time men would need to contribute every day to caring for children and households to make a leap toward achieving gender equality in unpaid care, reveals the third-ever State of the World’s Fathers report, released today by Promundo, with Unilever Dove Men+Care at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, in advance of Father’s Day in many countries around the world.

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. So, what’s holding
them back? 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.
The State of the World’s Fathers report is produced by Promundo, co-coordinator of MenCare: A
Global Fatherhood Campaign, which is active in over 50 countries.

It reveals new research findings, conducted with Unilever, Dove Men+Care in seven countries and Plan International Canada in four countries – drawing from interviews and surveys of nearly 12,000 individuals. It also includes crosscountry data analysis from more than 30 countries, and it provides recommendations to close the unpaid care gap in support of achieving gender equality.

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 – on unpaid care,
volunteer, and domestic work (and spend more time on unpaid and paid work combined). 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.

One proven policy solution to support the redistribution of unpaid care work – equal, paid,
nontransferable leave for all parents, including fathers – has yet to see universal uptake: Less than
half (48 percent) of the world’s countries offer paid paternity leave, but when available, it is often
less than three weeks – or sometimes only a few days.

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