A Radical Agenda for Men's Caregiving

Authors

  • Gary Barker

    1. PhD, is International Director and founder of Promundo – an NGO with offices in Brazil, Rwanda and the USA – that works to engage boys and men in gender equality.
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    • Special thanks to Michael Kaufman, Jane Kato-Wallace, Dean Peacock, Nikki Van Der Gaag, Wessel Van Den Berg, Niobe Way and all the co-authors of the IMAGES and the Men Who Care studies for their various contributions to ideas presented here.

Abstract

The gender equality agenda has long discussed the unequal burden of care work for women and girls. But this debate has seldom focused on how to create the conditions necessary for men and boys to do more care work and be part of a global effort to value care work, regardless of who carries it out. In this analysis of global data and trends, the author argues for a radical shifting of the conversation to understand the resistance to men's care work, the benefits to men of greater participation in care work, and provides a set of policy recommendations for how to promote this change. The article also argues that the benefits of men's caregiving may be the impetus to move from a limited and zero-sum notion of the ‘patriarchal dividend’ to a ‘gender equality dividend’ with benefits for women, children and men themselves.

Ancillary