Engaged Fatherhood for Men, Families and Gender Equality


The evidence is clear: the degree to which fathers engage in their role as fathers has far-reaching implications. These extend beyond their own, their children’s and their partners’ health and wellbeing to effect work and social environments at the individual and broader societal levels.

By integrating studies from three sectors—Health, Social Policy, and Work in Organizations—this volume calls attention to these widespread benefits and details how the interplay of numerous factors do and can contribute to achieving them. When policy (governmental and institutional) and practice come together to support and enable fatherhood engagement, everyone benefits in myriad ways both tangible and intangible. 

The volume stems from the STI Experts Meeting Elevating Fatherhood: Policies, Organizations and Health and Wellbeing, hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program, and organized in collaboration with the International Center for Work and Family at IESE Business School. The research presented at the meeting, and thus in the chapters of this work, spans several disciplines and geographical areas, resulting in a uniquely broad view of existing and potential solutions to the crucial challenge of normalizing engaged fatherhood everywhere for everyone.

The volume is available for purchase in hard- and softcover editions, and is offered on open access, for downloading on this Springer link.


Launching a Cross-disciplinary and Cross-national Conversation on Engaged Fatherhood
Marc Grau Grau and Hannah Riley Bowles

Part I: Health and Wellbeing

The Role of Fathers in Child and Family Health
Michael W. Yogman and Amelia M. Eppel

The Impact of Father’s Health on Reproductive and Infant Health and Development
Milton Kotelchuck

The Impact of Fatherhood on Men’s Health and Development
Milton Kotelchuck

Steps in Developing a Public Health Surveillance System for Fathers
Clarissa D. Simon and Craig F. Garfield

Fatherhood and Reproductive Health in the Antenatal Period: From Men’s Voices to Clinical Practice
Raymond A. Levy and Milton Kotelchuck

Part II: Social Policy

Fathers and Family Leave Policies: What Public Policy Can Do to Support Families
Alison Koslowski and Margaret O’Brien

Individual Parental Leave for Fathers: Promoting Gender Equality in Norway
Elin Kvande

How Do Men Talk about Taking Parental Leave? Evidence from South Korea, Spain, and the U.S.
Xiana Bueno and Eunsil Oh

Part III: Work & Organizations

Impossible Standards and Unlikely Trade-Offs: Can Fathers be Competent Parents and Professionals?
Jamie J. Ladge and Beth K. Humberd

The New Dad: The Career-Caregiving Conundrum
Brad Harrington

French Fathers in Work Organizations: Navigating Work-Life Balance Challenges
Sabrina Tanquerel

‘It Would Be Silly to Stop Now and Go Part-Time’: Fathers and Flexible Working Arrangements in Australia
Ashlee Borgkvist

Small Changes that Make a Great Difference: Reading, Playing and Eating with your Children and the Facilitating Role of Managers in Latin America
María José Bosch and Mireia Las Heras

Fatherhood Among Marginalised Work-Seeking Men in South Africa
Mandisa Malinga and Kopano Ratele

The Role of Love and Children’s Agency in Improving Fathers’ Wellbeing
Alexandra Macht

Part IV: Conclusion and Principles for Promoting Gender Equity

Reducing Barriers to Engaged Fatherhood: Three Principles for Promoting Gender Equity in Parenting
Hannah Riley Bowles, Milton Kotelchuck, and Marc Grau Grau