The new fathers. A comparison between men and women
Gender equality? In Italian families it is still far away: only 7% of Italian fathers take parental leave, compared to their Swedish colleagues who hold the record in Europe with 69% (ISTAT). Italian fathers spend an average of 38 minutes with their children every day, compared with 4 hours and 45 minutes for mothers (Sirc data). Needless to say, 85.4% of Italian men are convinced that raising and caring for their children is now evenly distributed (Eurispes), even though 71.5% of fathers admit that most of the other tasks involved in running the family still fall to women. And it will come as no surprise to learn that under the heading of ‘personal time’, i.e. free time to devote to themselves, Italian mothers are at the bottom of the European league table with just 41 minutes a day, while the Finns are in the lead with 69 minutes.
Italian legislation does not help, for example in terms of parental leave: In Italy, the ‘replacement’ compensation provided for fathers who choose to take a break from work is only 30% of their monthly salary, and currently only 7 Italian fathers out of 100 decide to take it during the first two years of their child’s life; a derisory percentage compared to that of the most virtuous countries (in Sweden, where the allowance is 80% of salary, 70 fathers out of 100 take it) and lower than the average in the rest of Europe (around 30%). The road to gender equality in Italy is still long, even in the family.
To understand how the Italian family is changing and above all the father figure, the magazine Focus and the portal Nostrofiglio.it have launched an online survey with the scientific support of Eurispes to describe the evolution of the father figure in Italian society: “I nuovi padri. Comparing men and women”.
The relationship with children in terms of care, but also as a capacity for dialogue and values transfer, fears linked to fatherhood and how the birth of a child affects the relationship between the couple: these are just some of the issues addressed by the survey. Simple questions addressed to men and women, not necessarily parents, to find out what fathers are like, and what those who are not or do not want to be parents think about fatherhood means today.