“Who cares? Who shares? Men as agents and beneficiaries in Gender Equality policies”
Despite the fact that legal gender equality has been achieved to a large extent, the progression towards equal life histories and employment paths for men and women continues to be a slow process. There is still a long way to go to arrive at actual gender equality.
In this situation, the question of the necessary engagement and involvement of boys, men and fathers is becoming more and more relevant. It is the focus of the series of “International Conferences on Men and Equal Opportunities”. Following the events organised by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs (Berlin 2012) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs (Vienna 2014), the Luxembourg Ministry for Equal Opportunities will be the host in 2016. The theme of the conference being held on 17/18 October 2016 is
By focusing on “Caring Masculinities” as a specialised concept, strategic perspective and political agenda, the conference in Luxembourg will open up new outlooks and approaches to the topic. With regard to both subject-specific and political aspects, the conference will examine the highly topical question of which policies can and must create the framework conditions needed to promote greater engagement and involvement of men in care settings – and consequently contribute to the fair and equitable distribution of paid and unpaid work.
“Caring masculinities” opens a wide field comprising aspects such as paternal child care, men’s self-care, sharing of household chores, professional involvement of men in care professions, caring for sick relatives, and men’s volunteer work in municipalities, communities, churches, clubs and associations. Therefore, the theme of the conference not only targets gender equality policies, but also addresses labour, employment, social, health and education policies, and encourages discussions about the potential that “policies for caring masculinities” have in terms of solving political and social challenges extending beyond gender equality.
The Europe 2020 Integrated guidelines for the economic and employment policies of the Member States call for an employment rate of 75% for men and women. At present, the labour force participation rate is 75% for men and 63.5% for women. In the EU, however, women spend 17 more hours on unpaid work than men each week (26 hrs. v 9 hrs.), while men work seven more hours at paid jobs (33 hrs. v 40 hrs.) and earn an average of 16% more per hour than women for the same job. Although the reasons for this inequality are complex, the gender equality goal is easy to define: the fair and equitable – i.e. 50-50 – distribution of paid and unpaid work between women and men.
Ministère de l’Égalité des chances
Ministère de l'Egalité des chances
- presents the current realities with regard to care settings and highlights the diversity of men’s contributions to care activities and work;
- explores the causes and potential for change in the complex interplay between individual and family, politics, society and economy;
- calls for conducive framework conditions and political influence both within and beyond gender equality policies;
- formulates recommendations for targeted, evidence-based work-life balance policies;
- supports boys, men and fathers as agents of gender equality policy change;
- networks politics, administration, business and civil society, and promotes dialogue between stakeholders involved in women’s and men’s policy issues;
- sends a signal to encourage and advocate boys, men and fathers to assume their equal share of responsibility in care settings.
The conference kicks off on 17 October 2016 at 2:00 pm and ends on 18 October 2016 at 5:00 pm. Attendance at the conference is free. Attendees are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses. Interpretation will be provided in English, German, French and Luxembourgish.
For any further information, please send a message to the Luxembourg Ministry for Equal Opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A enrolment tool is available online below.