Making the case for Gender Equal Parenting: Vital for Early Childhood Development and a transformative tomorrow


At MMM, we believe that sharing the invisible work of caring and educating children more equitably is a quadruple win: essential for early child development (ECD), beneficial for both men and women, as well as foundational for peaceful societies and global economies.

Parents and other home-based caregivers are the first and most important providers of the nurturing care that children need to thrive and develop – care that encompasses health, nutrition, safety, security, and early learning and responsive caregiving.

However, the unpaid work of caring for children in the home, although very intensive during the early years and crucial to ensure that a child develops to their full potential, is not properly recognized as such, nor valued for what it is: foundational.

This critical caregiving work is also inequitably distributed: mothers are usually the primary caregivers and principle influencers in their child’s physical, cognitive and emotional development, with fathers often playing a peripheral role. This inequitable responsibility is at the root of gender inequality: the resulting time poverty restricts women’s opportunities for education, participation in economic and public life, as well as their personal and professional aspirations.

Gender equality begins in the home: when men and women, fathers and mothers share the domestic and care work more equitably, women’s lives are transformed: not only do they have more time to participate in the labour force or engage in income generating activities, which promotes their financial independence, but it improves their self-confidence and respect from people around them. In turn, this leads to better maternal mental and physical health, and improved maternal-child interactions, positively impacting the child’s neurodevelopment.

Sharing the care within the family also directly benefits children and men.

Research over several decades has consistently shown that a young child’s environment deeply affects their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. There is increasing evidence around the positive impact of promoting men and women’s shared childcare for children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, learning and development, and their interpersonal relationships into adulthood.

According to MenCare – the global Fatherhood Campaign – sharing unpaid family care work and engaging men as involved fathers can also lead to stronger and more equitable partner relations, as well as a reduction in violence against women and children. A harmonious, secure and violence-free home environment is essential for early child development – and ultimately for building a more caring and peaceful society.

In the coming months, and with the support of some of our key ECD partners, MMM aims to make the case for gender equal parenting as vital for our future, including at the upcoming World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (WCECCE) which will take place in Tashkent 14-16 November 2022.

Our aim is to promote gender equal parenting as a key strategy to:

  1. Transform gender norms and achieve gender equality for the benefit of both men and women
  2. Fulfill children’s rights to receive nurturing care and education, and to thrive in a secure and loving environment
  3. Improve family relations, reduce violence and ultimately build peace

More information on our WCECCE side-event is available in this article


Most read articles

Women at the peace table: international Conference


Make Mothers Matter, together with the city of Ypres, and its grass roots partners Mothers for Peace, Mama Kivu and the Vrouwenraad, is organizing an international peace Conference Women at

Lire plus

200 million hours spent by women and girls fetching water every day


UN New York - On the occasion of the World Water Day and the UN Water Conference, MMM highlights the impact of the lack of access to safe and clean

Lire plus

MMM welcomes first ever Human Rights Council resolution on Care


UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - Entitled ‘Centrality of care and support from a human rights perspective’, this landmark resolution was presented by the governments of Argentina, Iceland, Mexico

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

Investing in mothers for social justice


It is official. On this World Day of Social Justice, we are proud to announce that MMM has joined the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s newly established Global Coalition for Social Justice.

Read more

MMM applauds the Care resolution adopted by the Commission on Social Development


UN New York, CSocD62 - The title of the resolution, “Promoting care and support systems for social development”, makes it clear that Care and Support are directly linked to the three core themes of social d

Read more

Investing in mothers key for inter-generational change


UN New York, CSocD62 - MMM's intervention to the Commission on Social Development reiterates that investing in mothers through recognition, education, protection and adequate support is a smart investment, with

Read more

Empowering Families for a Better Tomorrow Insights from We Learn Everywhere Conference


This event, marked by insightful presentations and discussions, addressed the challenges and opportunities that exist in parenting within our complex society and highlighted the tools created to provide parents

Read more

UNESCO Forum addresses Transforming Mentalities, Building Change and Women’s Empowerment


UNESCO, Paris - "Every political promise is addressed to children, every genuine commitment requires confronting the challenge of transmission. From a spiritual, metaphysical and human point of view, we can't i

Read more
Mother reading a book to her 2 daughters

MMM calls for Investing in Mothers to foster social development and justice


UN New York, Commission on Social Development - In a written statement, MMM makes the case for investing in mothers, highlighting the high returns in terms of both gender equality and child rights, and ultimate

Read more