PHM-Exch> Father’s Day 2017 Statement

Claudio Schuftan cschuftan at
Fri Jun 16 01:40:03 PDT 2017

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Pei Ching Chuah <peiching.chuah at>
Date: Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 3:37 PM
Subject: Father’s Day 2017 Statement
To: Claudio Schuftan <schuftan at>

“Super Dads” share the care work and support breastfeeding *“Every kid
needs protection, love, good food and play to support growth and
development, and it's up to both parents to provide these.” *UNICEF
Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar

The role of fathers in the home is changing. With more women in the
workforce, there are many more families with two working parents. The
changing nature of work, rapid urbanisation, migration and fragmentation of
extended families, all pose new challenges to balancing work and family
responsibilities. In the past, the prevailing view was that only women
could and should perform the caregiver's role. Although this attitude
remains widespread, social change towards greater equity is possible and
has popular support, not least from men themselves.[1]

Other than the time needed for recovering from childbirth and exclusive
breastfeeding, much of what a small infant needs is not directly related to
women’s biological role and can be easily divided between both parents.
Research shows that the healthy physical and psychological development of
young children is not associated with the sex of the caregiver, but depends
on the quality of caregiving and the child-caregiver interactions.[2] Many
countries now recognise that men want to be more involved in providing care
during early childhood, but also to share care and household work.[3]

When fathers are better able to balance paid work and family, both parents
share the challenges of being a full-time employee and caregiver together.
Both parents will have an equal opportunity to balance work and family
experiences. Fathers in particular are more likely to step up to take
responsibility when they understand their importance in securing the health
and welfare of their child. Research shows that positive interactions with
fathers allow children to have better psychological health and life
satisfaction in the future[4]. Involved fatherhood also allows girls and
women to achieve their full potential and also makes men and families
happier and healthier.

Family and work balance is made possible and viable through social
protection measures that enable fathers to participate in caring. Paid
parental leave entitlements will empower both parents to integrate care,
including the period of exclusive breastfeeding with other work. Paid
leave, shared between mothers and fathers (or in other co-caregiver
arrangements), enables an equitable distribution of caregiving[5].
Breastfeeding rates improve when fathers are more informed and more
involved in the care of the infant.[6] Paid leave policies also help to
advance gender equality, social justice and the wellbeing of women,
children and men.[7]

On Father’s Day 2017, WABA supports the United Nations Children's Fund
(UNICEF) 'Super Dads’[8] campaign and the MenCare global fatherhood campaign
[9] to acknowledge and celebrate the essential role that fathers play in
care work to support child development and breastfeeding.

For more information, contact:

Revathi Ramachandran revathi at

For more on WABA World Breastfeeding Week 1-7 August 2017 Sustaining
Breastfeeding Together go to



[2] (Levtov et al., 2015; WHO, 2004) quoted in








*Pei Ching*
*Programme Coordinator, Health and Information *

*World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action*
P.O. Box 1200, 10850 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 604 6584816 Fax: 604 6572655
Email: waba at
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