Government Departments

The MenCare 50/50 Commitment for Government Departments

Gender norms and a lack of supportive government policies hold both women and men back. Governments have a role in creating laws and policies that support all parents, caregivers, and families, in all their diversity, to thrive – from affordable childcare to living wages, social support to affordable education, and equal, fully paid, non-transferable parental leave. They also have a responsibility to set this crucial standard on care work, and to ensure that it is valued and shared equally.

To reach full gender equality in care work, we must set institutional goals of achieving equality in care work, measure who does the care, and track progress toward equality.

The MenCare 50/50 Commitment for Governments was launched at the Women Deliver Conference in June 2019 – the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. The MenCare 50/50 Commitment for Governments calls for a bold commitment to unlock the power of care.

The commitment that government departments can make are to maintain or develop one or more of the following policy measures:

  • Establishing equal, fully paid, non-transferable parental leave for all parents, in addition to peri-natal maternity leave.
  • Providing state-supported, high-quality childcare that facilitates the full participation in economic activities for all working parents and caregivers.
  • Transforming health sector institutions to promote fathers’ involvement from the prenatal period through birth and childhood and men’s involvement as caregivers.
  • Establishing national care policies and campaigns that recognize, reduce, and redistribute care work equally between men and women.
  • Expanding social protection programs to redistribute care equally between women and men who are unemployed or working in the informal economy, while keeping a focus on the needs and rights of women and girls.

Government departments may also commit to one or more of the following supporting initiatives:

  • Holding male political leaders accountable for their support of care policies, while advocating for women’s equality in political leadership.
  • Collecting regular data on time use in unpaid care work and how it is divided between women and men, girls and boys and use it to measure progress toward equality, inform policy-making and budgeting decisions.
  • Integrating strategies to actively engage fathers and male caregivers in key services and programs directed to families seeking to promote children and adolescent development that reach large sectors of the population.
  • Implementing comprehensive communications campaigns and school-based approaches to promote young men’s involvement in care work, prevent gender-based violence, teach the value of care to both boys and girls, and promote equitable, nonviolent, caring relationships.

Sign up to the MenCare 50/50 Commitment by emailing us at