Welcome to the website on European Fatherhood.
We present information on men, equality, and fatherhood in Europe.
The content is for professionals working in the area as well as anyone interested in the subject.
The transition from man to father has profound psychological impact and implications – for the individual, the child, the family and beyond. Laying guidelines and providing incentives, like father quotas, which encourage good fatherhood is therefore important. A key issue is resolution of the common conflict between a father's wish to spend more time with his newborn child and the competitive nature of most modern workplaces.
Initiatives to resolve this conflict will help prevent adverse psychological and interpersonal outcomes as men make their transition to fatherhood : Men too may suffer post natal stress reactions., These reactions have a potentially negative effect on the social development and functioning of the child in question, and leave the man less able to support his partner.
The number of European men taking parental leave is rising, but how do men personally experience their leave? What kind of reactions are they met with by friends, family, colleagues and the community? What are the reasons for men taking parental leave and are their expectations realistic?
The Scandinavian countries lead the statistic on European fathers taking parental leave. In most other European countries the actual number of fathers who take parental leave is low, and yet relatively high considering the barriers. The statistics indicate a strong correlation between incentives and parental leave.
Men are keen to learn a broad range of caregiver skills and become better fathers, but often do not participate in family education. Reasons are both practical and psychological in nature, and point to the need to redesign family education – both in terms of curriculum, structure and process.
Any work to promote good fatherhood is always rooted in a set of historical, cultural and social conditions, processes and developments. Understanding these factors and understanding the issues and perspectives that must thus be included is key to a successful promotion of new fatherhood models.
Male only learning sessions help men prepare for the practical and emotional challenges of becoming a father. Mothers too benefit from such sessions. They encourage fathers-to-be to talk more openly with their partner about feelings and expectations, and help the couple better manage the often very trying first year of parenthood.
Despite the documented benefits, only a fraction of privately owned businesses have implemented 'family-friendly' measures. A well functioning family life has a positive or very positive influence on performance in the workplace. This article presents best practice cases from Germany and Denmark, three corporate and one municipal.
by the Department of Gender Equality of Denmark
Workplace culture plays a key role in men's decision whether to take parental leave or not. Company values, the way work is organised and policies on paternal leave must be taken into consideration by employers looking to provide support for male employees in their transition to fatherhood.
Men, fathers and the issue of fatherhood is underrepresented in all aspects of child related research. It does not reflect changes in men's understanding of themselves as fathers and the psychological, sociological, economic and health related effects of these changes. This article maps the need for future research projects.
A study of how ethnic minority fathers perceive fatherhood, and how this inflects attitudes towards gender equality in the family as a whole.
By associate professor, Ph.d. Kenneth Reinicke
Eberhard Schaefer, MA
Iva Šmídová, Ph.D.
Svend Aage Madsen, Ph.D. (Head of project)
With support from the European Community - Programme relating to the Community Framework Strategy on Gender Equality (2001-2006).The information contained in this website does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.