The document from Equimundo and partners wants men to fight for equality on unpaid care work.
Governments must be “held accountable for putting care before profit and investing in care infrastructure,” argues a new global survey.
The State of the World’s Fathers Report 2023 spoke to nearly 12,000 people in 17 countries. According to the poll, 63% care for a partner, 60% for children and 36% for an elderly relative.
“Men must vote, call and march and high quality universal childcare, for workplace policies that support all caregivers, for social protection policies that support all caregivers, whether engaged in formal or informal work and for equitable, universal and paid parental leave,” said Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. “The pathways to care equality and to gender equality require all of those. And their rewards will be shared by us all also.”
The report was put together by Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice, Sonke Gender Justice and the MenCare Global Fatherhood Campaign. It has been supported by the likes of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Much of the research touches on known issues around care and gender equality, including 49% of men and women saying financial impact was the reason they didn’t take parental leave that was offered. The estimated cost of unpaid care is $11 trillion, or 9% of global GDP. Meanwhile, men spend 19% of their time in unpaid work as a proportion of total work compared to 55% for women.
But there is a sense that people are becoming more politicised. According to the report, more than half of “mothers and fathers said that political activism for care leave policies was important to them”. 80% of parents said sons as well as daughters should be taught to do care work.
Above all though, as the report argues, it’s about centring care in a world in crisis.
Said Sima Bahous, “That we value that care so little remains a profound failing in the way we understand the world we live in and manage our affairs.”