Thursday, August 14, 2008

Time for Auusie fathers to have their day.

When will kiwi fathers have their day? Yeah right, no chance in a feminist - wimpish regime. graph/story/ 0,22049,24175423 -5006009, 00.html

The Daily Telegraph
14 August 2008

Time for Aussie fathers to have their day
By Angela Saurine

Major decisions about parental leave and breastfeeding are being made without adequate research into the roles fathers play.

Fatherhood expert Richard Fletcher said policy makers were "shooting from the hip" and wasting taxpayers' money because not enough research has been done into how fathers fitted into national priorities.

Dr Fletcher, of the University of Newcastle's Family Action Centre, has
assembled senior researchers and advisors to address the problem.

"They're deciding on paternity leave, but nobody in Australia really knows what effect it may have if dads stay home with their children," he said.

"We need to bring fathers into the discussion, but the research isn't there.

"The chances are that we are using a lot of energy and taxpayers' money throwing money at problems without being able to address them effectively.

"Fathers are very important at deciding things.

"We know that fathers have an effect on literacy and breastfeeding rates, but usually the lactation consultants only talk to the mums."

Dr Fletcher said basic survey questions on parenting by research groups such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the National Institute of Family Studies needed to be reviewed because they are based on the mother's role and are assumed to be appropriate for fathers.

"We need to define clearly the notion of fatherhood and understand its relationship to motherhood," he said.

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth has given the network a grant to do the research.

Dr Fletcher said the network aims to define fatherhood and examine the gaps in our knowledge of indigenous fathering and how cultural factors influence father-child relationships.

David Chalke, a social analyst for the cultural change monitor AustraliaSCAN, said research into the role fathers played was long overdue.

"The debate has been largely framed from the mothers' perspective, either from a traditional standpoint - that it's women's work - or from a feminist standpoint - that it's definitely women's work," he said.

"The whole area of male role models, fatherhood, male involvement in childrearing, has never been sufficiently investigated and needs attention."

Family Relationships Services Australia executive director Sam Page said it was important to understand the roles fathers played and to tailor services and support accordingly.

"Gender roles are changing and couples with children are having to navigate and negotiate that," she said.


Fathers who want to get involved can call Dr Richard Fletcher at the University of Newcastle on 02 4921 6401 or go to click here:

http://www.newcastl centre/fac/ efathers/ includingfathers /

No comments: