1 July 2023

State of the world's fathers - 2023

Author: Nikki Van Der Gaag, Taveeshi Gupta, Brian Heilman, Gary Barker, Wessel van den Berg
Published by: Equimundo
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Cover of report

The State of the World’s Fathers 2023 (SOWF 2023) report reveals that thousands of women and men across the world are calling for care to be central to their lives, which can only be addressed by a fundamental overhaul of power structures, policies, and social norms around both paid and unpaid care work.

The report, coordinated and led by Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice as part of global fatherhood campaign, MenCare, asserts that these changes are critical in order to advance gender equality, recognizing care as the foundation that holds society together and enables it to function.

New research conducted for the report across 17 countries shows that women and men across the world have multiple caregiving responsibilities, to children, the elderly, homes, neighbors, friends, and extended families. Men say they are doing, and want to do, more but barriers to equal sharing – structural, norm-based, individual and financial – remain. Despite many taking on more caring responsibilities during the pandemic and more countries and companies putting in national care plans, including paid parental leave, the data reveals too few workplaces support men’s care, too few policies and politicians even consider men’s caregiving, and too few boys grow up seeing it exhibited by their own fathers. There is now an urgent need to break the binary and for men and boys to join the ‘unfinished revolution’ and center care as much as women and girls to achieve care equality.

The SOWF 2023 report also reveals a number of promising examples of successful care policies and programs around the world, and proposes a series of recommendations for urgent structural action, following the acronym CARING in English, CUIDAR in Spanish, and SOIGNER in French.