UNESCO webinar highlights shared responsibility in parenting in Latin America

On October 2, 2017, IIPE UNESCO Buenos Aires hosted a Spanish-language webinar on “Shared Responsibility in Parenting: Public Policy Initiatives in Latin America” (“Corresponsabilidad parental en la crianza: Iniciativas de política pública en América Latina”).

The webinar featured MenCare partner Francisco Aguayo, who is the director of Fundación CulturaSalud/EME in Chile, MenCare Latin America coordinator, and co-author of State of the World’s Fathers: Latin America and the Caribbean; and Néstor López, who is the coordinator of the Information System on Early Childhood in Latin America (Sistema de Información sobre Primera Infancia en América Latina, SIPI). Francisco and Néstor discussed men’s joint responsibility for parenting and reflected on initiatives that position men’s caregiving as a key public policy issue in Latin America.

Engaging men in gender-equitable caregiving and in promoting child development can positively impact the lives of women, children, and men themselves. While Latin American countries have made notable progress toward a more gender-equitable distribution of care, significant policy barriers remain to men’s full participation in early child development.

Francisco and Néstor pointed to some of the key gaps in research surrounding men’s caregiving that provide challenges to establishing supportive public policies throughout the region.

“There are several studies about fatherhood and caregiving in different contexts in Latin America, including with indigenous and rural populations; however, the majority of these studies are focused on middle-class, urban populations,” Francisco said. In order to successfully engage men in gender-equitable caregiving across the region, research and policy must be inclusive of fathers from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, he continued.

This webinar provided a space for discussion and interaction related to the different factors that impact early child development and men’s involvement in care in Latin America. Webinar attendees had the opportunity to participate in the conversation, sharing their questions and comments.

Watch the full webinar in Spanish below: