In Italy, taking action to redefine a father’s role within family and society

Fathers in Il Cerchio dei Papà work to provide committed, equitable, and heartfelt caregiving to their children and support for their partners.

MenCare partner Il Giardino dei Padri is a network of organizations working on fatherhood and caregiving in Italy. Its members include associations that are grounded in the field of gender studies, as well as organizations with years of experience working with men of all ages. With initiatives such as Il Cerchio dei Papà (The Dads’ Circle), this Italian network is working with fathers and fathers-to-be to raise awareness about the importance of men’s gender-equitable participation at home.

The nonprofit Il Cerchio degli Uomini, based in Turin, organizes Il Cerchio dei Papà, which is a special fathers’ group that encourages the sharing of stories, emotions, and reflections about the adventures and experiences of fatherhood. New fathers, as well as experienced ones, meet weekly to coach each other and prepare themselves for the most important role of their lives. They talk about their problems, victories, and failures as fathers in a non-judgmental environment with the objective of mutual assistance and learning. By doing so, they help each other provide committed, equitable, and heartfelt caregiving to their children and support for their partners.

The organizations brought together by the network Il Giardino dei Padri are engaging men for gender equality. United by this platform, the organizations’ projects raise awareness around, and advocate for, men’s gender-equitable caregiving. By maximizing the equitable collaboration between men and women, the network aims to improve families’ everyday lives. When necessary, it also provides interventions with men responsible for domestic violence, in order to protect the rights of women and children.

Mixing different approaches, the teams working to encourage men’s and fathers’ critical reflection around masculinity and harmful norms are seeing excellent results, showing an encouraging change toward nonviolence, respect, and solidarity for gender equality.

Later this year, the network will launch new efforts for the promotion of men’s equitable caregiving, with many initiatives for fathers and men of all ages. Stay tuned for news and updates!