Celebrating International Women’s Day

March8-MenCareInternational Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated annually on March 8, provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in our lives – and around the world – while calling for greater gender equality.

The theme for IWD 2015 is “Make It Happen,” calling on individuals and organizations around the world to take action to recognize, advance, and empower women. Today, and every day, MenCare is calling on men as partners, family members, and particularly as fathers, to participate equally at home. Making this commitment allows the women in our lives the choice and freedom to pursue their goals, and it’s a key way to level the playing field and advance gender equality globally.

When men are present in caring and nurturing ways in their partners’ and children’s lives – through the prenatal period, childbirth, and far beyond – it significantly benefits women and girls, leading to better mental and physical health outcomes for both women and children (not to mention the psychological wellbeing and deeper connections it provides for men themselves).

Globally, women spend an average of two to ten times more time in care work than men do, even though they are now approximately 40 percent of the paid workforce. By being involved and sharing the care work at home, pushing for women’s equal pay in the workplace, and taking paternity leave when it’s offered (and advocating for it when it’s not), men can help women reach their full potential and recognition both in the workplace and at home.

When men are involved at home, it not only benefits their partners, but it can pave the road for their daughters as well. Involved fatherhood contributes to girls’ autonomy and empowerment; in fact, when fathers take on an equal share of housework, their daughters may even be more likely to aspire to non-stereotypically female occupations as they grow up.

When men support their partners, everyone benefits – even men themselves. Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8 to recognize women around the world, advance equality, and raise awareness about the importance of involved fatherhood in positively transforming the lives of women and girls.

To join the conversation, follow #IWD2015 and #MakeItHappen on Twitter.