Women’s perspectives on the value of a father’s initiative in shifting gendered practices within families

Date

2016-10-31

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Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This paper explores the qualitative perspectives of women about a community embedded fathers initiative in Northern England. Projects to improve the wellbeing of men and their children are less common within the landscape of parent and child support, with mothers more often being the target recipients. Asking women about their perceptions of an initiative for fathers then offers original insights from women who are positioned as ‘related outsiders’, in that they were ‘outside’ the project but ‘inside’ the family and community. Findings suggest that women are able to see the positive impact of such a project, identifying that it offers a shared space for men and children, time for mothers without their children and can help with shifting roles and attitudes around child care and emotional labour in the home. The initiative was also seen by the women as offering men more healthy means of coping, including men moving away from traditional hegemonic practices, which in turn shifted some women’s long held gendered beliefs about men as fathers. This research then offers a relational gendered backstory to a father’s initiative, demonstrating how such initiatives can potentially ‘undo’ gender and the positive implications this could have for families.

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Citation

Hanna, E.S., Robertson, S., Woodall, J. and Rowlands, S. (2016) Women’s perspectives on the value of a father’s initiative in shifting gendered practices within families. Journal of Gender Studies. 27 (5), pp. 562-573

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)