Father Engagement Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic: Challenges, Promising Approaches and Opportunities

When:                  November 3rd, 12:30 – 14:00 CET

Duration:             90 minutes

Offered by:          ISSA with financial support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation

Register for the webinar here

According to the recently released Editorial in Lancet, although COVID-19 does not discriminate, if we do not carefully consider our response to the pandemic we might do. In light of this potential hazard, research efforts increasingly use a gender lens in order to map, explain and tackle the gender differentiated transmission mechanisms and implications of COVID-19 (World Bank, 2020).

Along such efforts, special emphasis should be given to aspects pertaining to gender equity in parenting and specifically to father engagement in their children’s education, care and upbringing. To date, literature highlights key obstacles and enablers of COVID-19 to gender equity in parenting and increased father engagement. Specifically, long held obstacles seem to be still in place, as the coronavirus pandemic has given new urgency to many of the challenges women have faced for a long time, and the care burden on women is higher due to the pay gap and social norms.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the mitigation measures taken to tackle it have changed enormously our lives in many ways. For example, during the pandemic, fathers have spent more time at home, and this has been an opportunity for them to engage more in their children’s education, care and upbringing. Workplace realities have also changed for fathers and mothers alike, with home-based work prevailing. The pandemic and its consequences may contribute, among others, to a redistribution of care and domestic work but what this crisis confirms is that it is necessary to continue working on analyzing the factors which perpetuate gender roles (Belloso, 2020).


Why join this webinar

  • Learn about the major opportunities and challenges that the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to tackle it pose to different family members. To what extent and how mothers’ and fathers’ engagement have changed during the pandemic?
  • Be inspired by the effective and innovative approaches implemented to pursue increased father engagement during the pandemic, in the context of existing and new programs.
  • Reflect together about the main gaps in knowledge, research, policy and practice as well as about the remaining challenges on increasing father engagement in the short and long term.
  • Benefit from lessons learned in pursuing different approaches and mobilizing different actors in order to encourage men to play more active roles in their families.

Panelists and moderator

  • Tatiana Gonçalves Moura, Senior Researcher, Centre for Social Studies at University of Coimbra, and Coordinator of Promundo, Portugal  
  • Mariam Bandzeladze, Program Manager, UNFPA CO Georgia
  • Alona Abt, Co-Founder and CEO of Hop! Media Group, Israel
  • Jozef Atrash, Senior Advisor, "Magic Moments" project (Arabic version), Israel

Konstantina Rentzou, Senior Program Manager, ISSA 


Watch the webinar recording


Webinar presentation

Download the webinar presentation (PDF)


Further reading

Alon, T., Doepke, M., Olmstead-Rumsey, J. & Tertilt, M. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series

de Paz, C., Muller, M., Munoz Boudet, A.M., & Gaddis, I. (2020). Gender Dimensions of the COVID-19 Pandemic. World Bank, Washington, DC. 

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) - Gender Equality Index and other Gender Statistics Databases

Ruxton, S., & Burrell, S. R. (2020). Masculinities and COVID-19: Making the Connections. Washington, DC: Promundo-US.

UNICEF ECARO & ISSA (2016). Module 5: Engaging Fathers. The Netherlands.

UNICEF ECARO & ISSA (2016). Gender Socialization and Gender Dynamics in Families - the Role of the Home Visitor. The Netherlands.

van der Gaag, N., Heilman, B., Gupta, T., Nembhard, C., and Barker, G. (2019). State of the World’s Fathers: Unlocking the Power of Men’s Care. Washington, DC: Promundo-US.

Wenham, C., Smith, J., Morgan, R. on behalf of theGender and COVID-19 Working Group (2020). COVID-19: the gendered impacts of the outbreak. The Lancet, 395, pp. 846-848.


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