Globally, women perform significantly more domestic work than men—in some contexts, more than three to seven times as much. Women’s traditional role as primary caregiver is sharpening inequities as more women pursue paid work outside the home, which often does not result in shared caregiving responsibilities. Although we are seeing shifts in men’s self-reported caregiving, structural and social barriers continue to limit their full engagement in this work. For example, this year, almost one-third of men and one-fourth of women reported that changing diapers, bathing, and feeding children are a mother’s responsibility. The slow pace of establishing equitable practices in the home fails to reduce the burden on women and can exacerbate stress within families.
The Interagency Gender Working Group’s Male Engagement Task Force will host a webinar examining obstacles to men’s increased participation in parenting and caregiving and sharing recent research and programming around men’s engagement globally on September 12 at 8:00 a.m. EDT. Some programs in sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and maternal, newborn, and child health include activities that support male caregiving, but more work is needed to build an evidence base and best practices for programmatic approaches. We hope to answer the following questions: What’s needed to increase and improve men’s participation in domestic work, especially parenting, and caregiving? What are the structural and social barriers to increased participation? This webinar will help form a common language and knowledge base and start conversations on ways to integrate men’s caregiving into programmatic activities and policy efforts.