European Fatherhood
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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.



Men and fathers increasingly wish to take extended parental leave. The single most common reason for not doing so is the feeling that fulfilling this wish is in direct conflict with the demands of workplace culture. Not all fathers will want to take extended parental leave. However, various societal structures should be put in place so that those who wish to take extended parental leave can do so.

Companies and organisations have been shown to benefit from encouraging their male employees to take parental leave. The transition from man to father is a profound psychological change for many. Taking parental leave may significantly help male employees meet the challenges of becoming fathers, and help them develop the work/life balance needed to prevent stress.

Best practice

published January 17th 2007
last updated January 17th 2007

German and Danish examples of father-friendly corporate policies

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.

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published January 17th 2007
last updated January 26th 2007

Helping employers help male employees become better fathers

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.

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published January 17th 2007
last updated January 17th 2007

Future research projects a catalogue of ideas

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.

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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.