State of the World’s Fathers

The State of the World’s Fathers (SOWF) reports are landmark analyses of fatherhood and caregiving, drawing upon research from studies across the world and providing recommendations for policy and programmatic action to promote gender equality.


The State of the World’s Fathers reports, landmark analyses of fatherhood and caregiving, draw upon research and statistics from hundreds of studies covering all countries in the world with available data.


State of the World’s Fathers provides examples of best practices and recommendations for programmatic action to promote involved fatherhood and caregiving and to advance gender equality.


State of the World’s Fathers is an advocacy publication of MenCare: A Global Fatherhood Campaign; it builds on and contributes to the campaign’s ongoing priorities and initiatives.


An advocacy publication of the MenCare campaign, State of the World’s Fathers provides recommendations for policy, laying out a bold agenda for men and boys doing 50 percent of the world’s unpaid care work.

Promundo led the development and dissemination of the first ever State of the World’s Fathers (SOWF) report in June 2015, and a second edition, State of the World’s Fathers: Time for Action two years later. These publications serve as advocacy platforms for the MenCare campaign, which Promundo co-coordinates globally.

Launched in June 2015 in 10 cities around the world, the first State of the World’s Fathers report provides a foundational, data-driven snapshot of the state of men’s contributions to parenting and caregiving. Using global data on men’s involvement in caregiving and maternal and child health, and on the connections between fatherhood and violence, the report provides the basis for concentrated social, political, and healthcare initiatives; broad institutional change; and public awareness to bring about a transformation toward equitable, involved fatherhood. It defines a global agenda for involving men and boys as part of the solution to achieve gender equality and positive outcomes in the lives of women, children, and men themselves.

The second State of the World’s Fathers report, launched in June 2017 with MenCare partners in Belgrade, Serbia and at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and New York, U.S., draws from nearly 100 research studies and reports, with data from nearly every country where it is available, to reveal what has stalled progress toward global gender equality and to lay out a bold agenda for men and boys doing fully 50 percent of the world’s unpaid care work.

The report provides an 11-point action plan for achieving equitable distribution in unpaid care work, including key advocacy recommendations around policies and practices, such as equal, paid, non-transferable leave for all parents. It calls for a global goal and national action plans – building on Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals – to achieve men and boys taking on 50 percent of the world’s unpaid care.

The third State of the World’s Fathers report, launched at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Canada, reveals new research on men’s caregiving from 11 countries, with additional cross-country analysis of data from over 30 countries. It calls for men’s uptake of their full share of the world’s childcare and domestic work – across all societies and relationships – to advance gender equality.

Since launching, the global State of the World’s Fathers website has garnered over 90,000 page views. The reports have also received significant media attention, with coverage in news outlets reaching at least 2.2 billion across broadcast, online, and social media.

The reports serve as a tool for activism and advocacy for Promundo and MenCare partners around the world, launched with government officials at the United States Congress, as well as at parliaments in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and more. They have also influenced governments around the world to make advancements in parental leave policies.

The first ever State of the World’s Fathers report and/or its executive summary has been translated into French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. MenCare partners have also developed regional reports on the state of fatherhood in Africa, the Balkans, and Latin America and the Caribbean; national reports in Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Portugal, Russia, and the United States; and a thematic report on fatherhood and child rights.

Promundo and partners led and launched the national reports for the United States (State of America’s Fathers), for Portugal (State of Involved and Nonviolent Fatherhood in Portugal), and for Brazil (State of Brazil’s Fathers) in 2016.

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Related Programs

  • MenCare: The MenCare campaign promotes men’s equal involvement in caregiving and equitable, nonviolent fatherhood practices around the world.
  • MenCare+: MenCare+ engages men as partners in maternal and child health and in sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Program P: Program P provides concrete strategies and activities to engage men globally in active fatherhood from their partner’s pregnancies through their children’s early years.