Who has a greater impact on their children's support for patriarchal gender norms and attitudes, mothers or fathers?
Fathers have a vital role to play in preventing and reducing men’s violence against women and in building a non-violent future. Fathers can have a profound and positive impact on children, mothers, families, other fathers, and the wider community.
There are of course a wide range of ways in which men can contribute to ending violence against women, and a wide range of ways men can improve their own fathering. But here I focus on what fathers can do, as fathers, to prevent domestic and sexual violence.
Firstly, the pandemic was a public health crisis. But the pandemic generated many secondary crises and illuminated underlying tensions and contradictions in our society. And the care crisis was a big one.
It is 25 years since the Fourth World Conference on Women and its adoption of the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. For all of those who are committed to the visions of gender equality, human rights and social justice expressed in the Beijing Platform for Action and subsequent international declarations and agreements, 2020 was to have been a year of taking stock of progress made and debating priorities and strategies to advance towards these visions.
NOTE: Now also see the 5-page Policy Brief, summarising this report and released in November 2021, available here.
Engaged fathers matter enormously for children and for early childhood development. Yet women around the world still do three times as much childcare and unpaid domestic work as men do. In the ZERO TO THREE Journal, Promundo’s Gary Barker, Ruti Levtov, and Brian Heilman present an overview of evidence and lessons learned from the MenCare campaign, including recommendations for achieving the goal of equality in care work.
How do we prevent our sons from becoming rapists?
Media headlines lately have been dominated by violence – young men’s violence against other men outside pubs and in the street, and men’s sexual assaults of women. Most boys and men do not use violence. But a minority do. The confronting truth is, some of the boys growing up right now will force or pressure a girl or woman into sex.
Meaningful engagement with men and boys is increasingly recognized as critical to gender equality and equity, necessary not only for women’s empowerment, but also for transforming the social and gender norms that reinforce patriarchy and inequality and harm both women and men. The primary challenge embedded in this work is how to engage men and boys effectively without instrumentalizing them as a pathway to women’s empowerment on the one hand, or marginalizing women and girls in gender equity work on the other.
This working paper:
- Reviews existing knowledge on child marriage and informal unions between girls and boys/men in the Global South;
- Explores the attitudes of male family and community members on child marriage and the role of masculinity in shaping these attitudes; and
- Surveys interventions currently working with men and boys to see what can be built upon more systematically in the future work on child marriage.
Please see below for the full report, in PDF.