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Press release on Fathers Day in Ukraine

Every year on the third Sunday in June Ukraine celebrates an International Father's Day which is a day when society marks an important role of fathers in kids’ caretaking and upbringing. According to the research done by UNFPA Ukraine, fathers took care of children up to 3 years old only in 2% of families, while 45% of dads would like or plan to spend more time with their children. The following reasons for such “division of labour” are stated  such as  commitment of men to financially provide for family needs (81%), stereotypes like “childcare is a women’s responsibility” (18%), father’s low parenting skills (5%) etc. At the same time, the vast majority of fathers (80%) in older age regret not spending enough time with their children.


Traditional gender norms induce direct negative consequences for women and girls and impact men and their relationships with children in a long lasting perspective. That's why men’s engagement in caretaking and equal share of household chores is crucial for women’s empowerment and healthy partner relations, noted Tetiana Shulha, Gender focal point at the European Union Delegation to Ukraine.


“Men’s engagement in childcare and in the upbringing of their children is central to gender mainstreaming in Ukraine. Engaging men is necessary if we are to achieve parity in household chores, overcoming outdated stereotypes about the roles and places of women and men in the household and inn society, improving couples’ relationships on the grounds of equality and respect and having happier, healthier individuals, families and communities”, said Jaime Nadal, UNFPA Representative in Ukraine.


As per UNFPA Ukraine data, 61% of marriages end up with a divorce, in particular, due to the reasons related to  different burdens of domestic chores and taking care of family between a  man and a woman. For instance:  

●     More than 40% of men in Ukraine believe that woman has to leave her paid job for having more time for the family;

●     Women do twice more household work than men do while the majority of men believe that their partners are satisfied with such “ labour division”;

●     16% of Ukrainians still think that women have to tolerate violence to save the family.


Those and other stereotypes affect not only women’s and girls’ wellbeing, but also men’s welfare. Thus, 40% of men work overtime, and a third of men do not ask for psychological assistance when needed. Such prejudices regarding social roles of men and women have an impact on physical and mental health, as well as create additional barriers for women in careers, development, and economic independence etc.


“By joining the Biarritz Partnership, Ukraine has committed itself to ensuring equal opportunities for mothers and fathers in parental leave. However, despite changes in legislation that have given equal rights to men and women in caring after children, in practice childcare is seen as a mother's responsibility. Therefore, the next step is to promote and disseminate the best practices of responsible fatherhood in order to increase the number of men who are willing to take paternity leave. We are convinced that involving fathers in the upbringing of children will help ensure gender equality in Ukraine as a whole,” underlined Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden to Ukraine Mr Tobias Tiberg.


Since 2020 with the EU support clubs for fathers – Tatohubs – are launched to nurture the culture of fatherhood, provide additional learning for dads on taking care and upbringing of children and shape a public support for fathers who take paternity leaves in Ukraine. Such Tatohubs already operate in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Odessa, Kramatorsk, Poltava, Myrnohrad, Rubizhne, Troitske and will be launched in Zaporizhzhya and Berdiansk soon.


Additional information:

Tatohub.Kyiv, Tatohub.Vinnytsia, Tatohub.Odesa and a dad-school in Zaporizhzhya have been launched and operate in the framework of the “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against gender stereotypes and gender-based violence” project, funded by the European Union, implemented jointly by UN Women and UNFPA. Tatohub.Kramatorsk, Tatohub.Myrnohrad, Tatohub.Rubizhne, Tatohub.Troitske and Tatohub.Berdiansk are supported by the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) being implemented by four United Nations agencies and funded by twelve international partners. Tatohub.Poltava and Tatohub.Zaporizhzhya will start their work this year in the framework of UNFPA Ukraine’s project “Springboard to Equality” funded by Sweden.