The Global Campaign for Men and Boys
Boys and girls with involved fathers tend to grow up healthier, wealthier and happier on average. We know, for example, that when dad’s around, children do better at school in general and are more likely to be socially mobile. This means that if you are a child from a deprived background, having a father in your life makes it more likely that you will escape poverty.
There is also a strong link between fatherlessness and crime. When mums and dads are separated, boys become nine times more likely on average to commit a crime with 70% of young offenders coming from fatherless homes
Of course there are parents—mums and dads included—who pose a risk to their children, which is why we need systems in place to protect children from adults who aren’t good enough parents. And we don’t give good enough dads the same personal, cultural or legal support as mums to be as fully involved in their children’s lives.
There’s also lots of evidence that dads want more involvement in their children’s lives with 82% of fathers saying they want to spend more time with their families.
In UK law, only mothers have automatic parental rights irrespective of their marital status, which in practice gives women the legal right to be the primary parent in their child’s life.
More broadly, in law, policy and practice, we have made mothers the gatekeepers of men’s relationship with their children. This may work for parents who have a stable, interdependent relationship where the mother is happy to be the primary carer and the father is happy to be the primary breadwinner.
However, as 50% of children now see their parents separate before they reach 16 and as women in their twenties earn more than their male counterparts, a system that always assumes that mum is the primary parent may no longer reflect the needs and aspirations of men and women.
Much work has been done to give women equal rights and opportunities to be breadwinners, in helping women to make this transition we have failed to ensure that men are also given equal rights and opportunities to be involved parents.
We invite all political parties to consider what action they will commit to taking to support fathers of all types and backgrounds to be involved dads.
If you want information on the ideas explored in this post then you may want to buy our eBook Equality For Men by Glen Poole which you can download today for £10 via this link:
If you’d prefer a paperback copy of the book then find out how you can get hold of paperback version of the Equality For Men book here.
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Illustration by Jacqui Clark Art