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

04.10.22

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

In this together: Share the Care, Transform Tomorrow

02.07.22

UN New York, HLPF - Join us on July 11th for a discussion on how #SharingTheCare at every level - family, community, governments and private sector - is vital for

Lire plus

An almost Perfect Mother – New Podcast series with Isabelle Roskam

26.04.22

We are delighted to be launching our new podcast series An almost Perfect Mother featuring Isabelle Roskam, professor of development and parenting psychology at the University of Louvain, Belgium. Isa

Lire plus

Friendship NGO at the forefront of the fight against climate change

09.12.21

Our associate member in Bangladesh, Friendship NGO, responds to the call for input into an upcoming UN report on Human Rights and Climate Change.

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

Children at the heart of World Conference on Early Childhood Care & Education

26.11.22

Following the September 2022 Transforming Education Summit (TES) held in New York, the UNESCO World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (WCECCE) was launched on November 14th in Tashkent, Uzbekista

Read more

MMM Response to the EU Care Strategy

18.11.22

We need care when we are very young or very old, experiencing sickness or disability and the people who provide this care are indispensable actors in European economies and societies.

Read more

World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education: MMM promotes shared parenting

03.11.22

Organised by UNESCO, the World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education will be held from 14-16 November in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. We will be there and are organising a side event on the transformative p

Read more

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

04.10.22

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

Read more

In search of a cure for PCOS
The SPIOMET4Health project

30.09.22

MMM is participating in an EU project, SPIOMET4Health, which aims at providing a treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility, while raising awareness about the prevalence of t

Read more

MMM calls for redefinition of ‘work’ to encompass both paid & unpaid work

28.09.22

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - MMM took the opportunity of a panel discussion on the future of the right to work in the context of Climate Change, to call for a more holistic view of 'work', where both paid

Read more