Father’s Day is the occasion to tell the dads around us that they mean to us.
We, as mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters.
We, as organizations that intervene on a daily basis with men, fathers, mothers, children and families. We, as a society as a whole.
Because fathers’ commitment benefits not only fathers themselves, but also mothers, children and all of society.
On this subject, the evidence is mounting. Even if we still relatively little study the impact of the positive presence of fathers within families, we now know that this has a beneficial effect on the development of children. And on equality between women and men. This is also what we celebrate on Father’s Day.
Fathers have changed
In its report, the Laurent Commission writes it in black and white: fathers have changed. They want to get more involved, and have their role, place and importance recognized with children.
However, fathers who get involved also reveal a new reality: as parents, fathers, like mothers, need support adapted to their reality. This too, the Laurent Commission wrote in black and white in its report.
To do this, fathers must be targeted by public policies that dare to recognize their importance, name them, identify them as part, too, of the solution. Not just the problem.
Obviously, all is not won. Imbalances remain. Mothers always bear a greater mental burden than fathers when it comes to family responsibilities.
What if we bet that by supporting them better, fathers will take more of it? That by integrating them fully into our collective project, everyone will come out a winner?
Over the next few years, several appointments await us to take the turn of including fathers in public policies. A new perinatal policy. A new strategy of equality between women and men. A new ministerial action plan for men’s health and well-being. The implementation of the recommendations of the Laurent Commission. So many opportunities to implement a new “fatherhood reflex”.
Because every parent matters, today we celebrate fatherly commitment in all its forms. A well-deserved celebration after a year of pandemic which has changed the daily life of fathers, mothers and children.
But from tomorrow, once the embers of the barbecue have cooled, let us take up the challenge of making paternity rhyme with a “social project” and, above all, with “equality”, by using all the levers of our public policies. To break down the remaining barriers to more equitable parenting, but also to recognize that fathers are truly full parents.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads!
Raymond Villeneuve, Managing Director of the Regroupement pour la Valorisation de la Paternité (RVP)
* as well as 29 co-signatories:
Mohammed Barhone, President, Confederation of Family Organizations of Quebec
Geneviève Bélisle, Executive Director, Quebec Association of Early Childhood Centers
Élise Bonneville, Director, Early Childhood Collective
Élise Boyer, Executive Director, Fondation Olo
Pierre Brassard, coordinator, Group of men’s organizations on the Island of Montreal
Normand Brodeur, professor, School of Social Work and Criminology, Laval University
Denis Chouinard, President, Association of Public Libraries of Quebec
Diane Dubeau, professor, psychoeducation and psychology department, University of Quebec in Outaouais, University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières
Karine Dubois-Comtois, Full Professor, Department of Psychology
Christine Fortin, Executive Director, Maisons Oxygène Network
Christine Gervais, researcher, Paternity, Family and Society Team, University of Quebec in Outaouais
Dre. Jill Hanley, Scientific Director, University Institute – Sherpa, CIUSSS du Center-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
Valérie Harvey, sociologist, author of the essay Revolution Papa
Jennifer Johnson, Executive Director, Community Health and social services network
Carl Lacharité, regular researcher, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on Child and Family Development, University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières
Amélie Landry, Executive Director, Network of Quebec Perinatal Resource Centers
Isabelle Lizée, General Manager, Espace Muni
Audrey McKinnon, Executive Director, Quebec Network for Educational Success
Diane Miron, Executive Director, Association québécoise de la garde scolaire
Sabrina Nadeau, Executive Director, À cœur d’homme
– Support network for men for a society without violence
Tamarha Pierce, Full Professor, Social Sciences – School of Psychology, Laval University
Sylviane Poirier, President, Quebec Federation of Famile Community Organizations
Marie Rhéaume, Executive Director, Network for a Quebec Family
Valérie Richer, Executive Director, Provincial Regroupement en santé et bien-être des hommes
Jacques Roy, Associate Professor, University of Quebec at Chicoutimi
Kévin Roy, President, Federation of Quebec Parents’ Committees
Sandrine Tarjon, Director, Association des haltes-garderies communautaire du Québec
Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, professor, TÉLUQ University
Gilles Tremblay, responsible researcher, Pole of expertise and research in human health and well-being