Maloney, Rangel, Bera and Polis: State of the Worlds Fathers Report shows need for stronger parental and paid leave

Jun 17, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Ami Bera (D-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO) today  joined leaders of Promundo, the Center for Urban Families and the National Partnership for Women & Families to unveil the first-ever State of the World's Fathers report. The report, which examines data from 193 countries, shows the United States is one of just a few high-wealth countries that do not have family friendly workplace policy standards, such as paid family leave or paid sick days, which help dads manage work and family responsibilities.

“Too often we focus on leave and childcare as women’s issues, but these are family issues affecting both fathers and mothers,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “How fathers engage in parenting and caregiving has a profound impact on the lives of their children and on the lives of women, but unfortunately the United States lags far behind the rest of the world in implementing family friendly policies. It is inexcusable that the U.S. is the only developed country without paid leave. Our leave policy should be the best in the world.”

Congressman Charles Rangel said: “Mothers are rightfully discussed as one of the most important people in a child's life.  However, the role of fathers goes often overlooked. While a man cannot physically deliver a child, our country should afford him the opportunity to take leave to help alleviate the burden on his spouse or partner and get to better know the life he has just brought into the world.”

Congressman Ami Bera said: "Being a dad is my most important job, and we need to make sure dads are part of the conversation about issues like paid family leave. Neither fathers nor mothers should have to choose between caring for a sick child and keeping their jobs."

Congressman Jared Polis said: "Increasingly fathers are taking a more active role in parenting and caregiving around the world and here in the U.S. And that’s a good thing. We must make sure that we’re enacting family friendly policies, like paid family and medical leave and paid sick days, that support moms and dads and help them be the best parents they can be."

The comprehensive State of the World's Fathers report addresses major issues related to fatherhood, including unpaid care work in the home; sexual and reproductive health and rights; maternal, newborn and child health; men's care giving; violence against children and women; and child development.

The report also makes a series of recommendations about involving fathers in raising children and improving family life. The House Members are all cosponsors of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act, HR 1439), legislation that would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income when taking sick or parental leave.

Maloney has introduced the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act (HR 532) to provide six weeks of paid leave to federal employees for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. She has also introduced the Flexibility for Working Families Act (H.R. 1450) that would ensure that workers have the right to request a flexible work arrangement without fear of retribution. In his 2015 State of the Union, President Obama endorsed these types of efforts to improve working conditions for families.

The State of the World's Fathers is being released around the world throughout the week by MenCare, a global campaign promoting responsible fatherhood in 30 countries on five continents, and describes long-lasting disparities between the time and support given to fathers and mothers who care for a child or an older person. MenCare is coordinated globally by Promundo and Sonke Gender Justice, and jointly steered by Save the Children, Rutgers, and the MenEngage Alliance.

A copy of the State of the World’s Fathers Report can be found here: https://sowf.men-care.org/