Fathers - Work-life balance

Societal change requires to reconsider the role of fathers in balancing family and job. Fathers (family fathers, single fathers, or fathers separated from the partner and child) move into the focus and are supported actively. KIT as an employer and a location of studies feels responsible for addressing this requirement. It is particularly important to encourage fathers to assume an active role and to sensitize the staff in this respect.

Current News

Article: "The country has new fathers"

The image of the father has been changing for several years. Fathers no longer want to be reduced to the "breadwinner" role, but want to be actively involved in family work. 

Since the founding of the Fathers' Network, the team has recognized this constant change and the jolt that went through society during the Corona pandemic. For this reason, in 2021 you commissioned the Forsa research institute to conduct a trend study on the "Future of Compatibility." The results were surprising. Here is the article, with all the data. 

Active fatherhood from the beginning

An article entitled "Active fatherhood from the beginning" appears in the March issue of Deutsche Hebammen Zeitschrift. This article draws attention to the role of fathers during pregnancy and birth, a role that is often still neglected. It is still far too rare for fathers-to-be to be involved in birth preparation. This is where stereotypical gender images of motherhood and fatherhood are often created and reinforced. The article makes clear that social conditions are also decisive factors in how men can shape their fatherhood. The March issue of DHZ can be purchased for 10 euros on the website of Deutsche Hebammen Zeitschrift. The individual article is available for 3.90 euros.

Dare to be fathers!

Many men want to spend more time with their children - but then they don't. This article is about the challenges fathers face in taking on an active role as a father.

The complete article can be found here.

Encouraging male managers to take parental leave

This film portrait about Anton Debatin GmbH shows how the company supports fathers and their partnership.

Click here to go to the article.

Relationship guide for fathers

This guidebook wants to support (expectant) fathers and answers some questions like: "What wishes, fears, anxieties do you have in relation to your child? What scares you? What should you know?"

The guidebook can be found here.

Summary of the "Väterreport 2021" ("Father Report 2021")

The "Väterreport 2021" by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) is dedicated to the social position of fathers every year. With the help of studies, statistics or population surveys, it provides a good insight into the expectations, values and attitudes of fathers in Germany. This year, the influence of the Corona pandemic on the role of fathers and family life is also addressed.

Initially, the report shows that the desire of fathers to take on a more active father role is increasing compared to other generations. This is also significant because an active involvement of the father in everyday family life can have a positive influence on the child, for example on the development of the intellect, linguistic development or the ability to empathise. Almost 45% of the respondents state that they would like to have a partnership division in childcare, but 17% actually implement this. This can have various reasons, one being the stigmatisation of men as the main breadwinners and the lack of role models to follow. The environment with its partially anticipated role expectations also has a negative influence on the change in the father's role.

An important factor that supports fathers in fulfilling their role is the Elterngeld and the ElterngeldPLUS with partnership bonus. These funds help fathers to spend more time with their families, even if sometimes only briefly. Here, one can once again observe an increase over the last few years, which suggests that the role model of the father is changing. However, there are obstacles here as well, with almost 50% of fathers foregoing parental leave and parental allowance, which most justify with a financial motive. It can be seen that parental leave is not fundamentally rejected, but is made more difficult by external factors such as cost considerations or organisation and bureaucracy. Just as the use of parental leave has increased, so has the use of sick days for children.

The role of the single father has also changed positively over the years. Even if only in a few cases the child lives with the father after separation, contact is maintained for the majority. Studies show that fathers today remain more involved in their children's lives than in the past.

The last point to be discussed is the impact of the Corona pandemic on family life. Initially, it was thought that there would be a retraditionalisation of gender roles, but the opposite was the case. One can conclude that working (partly involuntarily) in the home office had a positive effect on family life and the role of the father. This shows, on the one hand, that 47% of the respondents want to maintain a partnership-based division of childcare, and on the other hand, 42% of the fathers have approached their employer about the fact that they would like working hours, place or manner to be adjusted. The Fathers' Report sees the pandemic experience as an opportunity to make lasting changes to the role of fathers and to share family work as partners.

In conclusion, it can be said that the urge of fathers to play an active role in family life is strongly increasing. For this to happen, on the one hand, politics must create effective framework conditions, such as parental allowance and parental leave, which already demand this. On the other hand, societal expectations must also change, as evidenced by the fact that only a small percentage of fathers reduce their work in the long term. Another goal should be to further strengthen partnership by extending parental leave beyond the first year of life, for example through family working time. The detailed report and all statistics can be found here.


"You decide masculinity" campaign

What do images of masculinity have to do with violence against women? The Landesverband Frauenberatung Schleswig-Holstein (LFSH) e.V. talked about this question with men from the region. The campaign "Männlichkeit entscheidest Du" (You decide masculinity) emerged from the conversations. Current contributions to the campaign can be accessed on the blog "ab-jetzt.org".


Table Topics: Violence against Men

The Federal Forum Men advocates the nationwide establishment and expansion of help facilities and counseling centers for men. The inhibition threshold among men affected by intimate partner violence is particularly high - which is why the Federal Forum for Men would like to further strengthen the offer of counseling for perpetrators and violence prevention services and establish them nationwide. The online platform männerberatungsnetz.de shows boys, men and fathers seeking help the existing offers of men's counseling and offers networking opportunities.


Men's Violence Protection | Counseling and Protection for Victims

Are you under psychological pressure at home, experiencing physical violence? In spring 2020, Germany's first men's help hotline went into operation - those affected can use the hotline to get in touch with the counseling center. The current nine Männer*schutzeinrichtungen (men's protection facilities) offer counseling services as well as anonymous protective housing for men who are particularly severely affected - you can find more information at maennergewaltschutz.de.