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Plunket Celebrates Fathers Breaking New Ground

2 September 2004

Plunket Celebrates Fathers Breaking New Ground

Plunket is celebrating Father's Day (Sunday 5 September) by congratulating the men who are making their children a priority in their lives.

"When we consider the short and long-term benefits to children of having both parents fully involved in their care and upbringing, it is clear that society will also ultimately benefit," says Erin Beatson, Clinical Advisor with Plunket.

"International research[1] supports what we all know to be true - that fathers make a real difference in child development outcomes for both boys and girls, especially with self-esteem, emotional well-being, the capacity to love and be loved, and the ability to participate in society.

"Plunket acknowledges the difficulties for many parents of achieving this, but it is exciting to see fathers themselves wanting things to change," she says.

Erin Beatson quotes a survey published by the Department of Labour's EEO Trust[2] (July 2004) which found 82% of the 1200 fathers surveyed felt that paid work negatively affected the amount of time spent with their children.

She says the survey also showed men increasingly wanting their workplaces to be more supportive of fathers taking parental leave, in order to help them become 'the kinds of fathers they wanted to be.'

"Given that 49% of women with children under five are now working[3], it is more important than ever that, for the sake of the children, society begins to embrace the idea of Dads as true 'partners in parenting'.

"Breaking down gender stereotypes towards parenting while building up support for all parents is one of the best things a modern society can do. Plunket congratulates the fathers out there who are doing just that," says Erin Beatson.

[1] Australian Department of Family and Community Services (1999). Fitting Fathers into Families: Men and the Fatherhood Role in Contemporary Australia, Commonwealth of Australia: Author.
[1] Department of Labour (July 2004). Achieving Balanced Lives and Employment. What New Zealanders are saying about Work-Life Balance
[1] Department of Labour (February 2004) Work-Life Balance Newsletter. Fact sheet 11

ENDS

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