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December 2020: Reflecting on a year of caregiving during COVID-19

Greetings from the MenCare Coordinators,

As we come to the end of 2020, we are taking this time to appreciate and acknowledge each one of you for the impactful roles that you have played in your families and communities throughout this difficult year. Many of us have been grappling with the new norm of living under lockdown and being socially distanced from our loved ones and colleagues due to COVID-19. Many of us have lost loved ones or lost members of our community. We offer our heartfelt condolences to everyone who is or has been negatively affected by the pandemic.

This year, COVID-19 further exposed the need for advocacy around unpaid care work all over the world – to support each person who is struggling to care for themselves, and for others. This year, people lost their jobs and became unemployed; parents and caregivers home-schooled their children which further increased their care workload. Our hearts are heavy with the knowledge of the hardships that all families, including yours, are facing. It is our sincere wish that we can spend the last few moments of 2020 being cared for and caring for others and that 2021 brings us all new possibilities, more justice, and more equality.

This year has not been without its successes and achievements: MenCare partners continue to persevere and work to make the world a more equitable place. In South Africa, the Netherlands, Poland, and Colombia, partners have successfully advocated for an increase in the number of days fathers can take for paternity leave; those in Eswatini, Canada, South Africa, and in other settings have launched campaigns to further movement toward equality in caregiving. In the District of Columbia, where MenCare research was part of advocacy for increasing paid leave, one of the most generous leave policies in the US came online in July of this year. We’ve also welcomed new partners from Poland, the Czech Republic, Uganda, and Russia. On the global level, MenCare collaborated to launch the #HowICare campaign in June, reaching 440 million people worldwide.

In March, we welcomed our new MenCare Global Fatherhood Co-Coordinator, Mphokuhle Mabhena – Lunga (Mpho) from Sonke Gender Justice. Mpho takes over from Wessel van den Berg, who will continue to support the campaign as one of its Steering Committee members.

As we move into 2021, we have exciting plans and events that you can look forward to from the team. MenCare will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year, and we are looking forward to reaching out to all our MenCare partners with more updates on this exciting milestone. We are also looking forward to launching the State of the World Fathers 2021 report this coming June as part of UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum. We encourage you to share your plans for 2021 on social media, tagging @MenCareCampaign on Facebook and @MenCareGlobal on Twitter.

It’s been a year of reflection, introspection, disappointment, and growth. We are honored to grow alongside you all and hope the coming year gives us an abundance of opportunities for connections.


Aapta and Mpho

In this Issue

Featured Story

Lessons learned from a module for pregnancy partners in the Netherlands

Map Marker  The Netherlands

To make sure that fathers become actively involved from the start, Rutgers, the Dutch  centre of expertise on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), together with TNO,  the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, explored the outcomes of a newly created partner module.
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Gender Perspectives launches pilot Men’s Anonymous Consulting Service (MACS) in Belarus

Map Marker  Belarus

MACS provides psychological support to Belarusian men assisting them in dealing with their difficulties in family relationships, with friends and loved ones, as well as to help them through challenging emotional situations.
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Reflecting on a year of caregiving during COVID-19

Map Marker  Global

As we come to the end of 2020, we are taking this time to appreciate and acknowledge each one of you for the impactful roles that you have played in your families and communities throughout this difficult year.
Continue Reading

Recommended Resources

DO’s & DON’Ts for Engaging Men & Boys: Now available in French, Portuguese, and Spanish

This 2-page resource brings together recent best practices and lessons learned for male engagement across health areas. It is intended to guide decision-making about programs, policy, media coverage, research, and funding priorities.

Father groups for equal parenting

In this report MÄN shares lessons learned from scaling up work with father groups and putting in place the structures needed to run them across Sweden.

Working for change with a lifelong violence prevention perspective

This is a thematic report from MÄN that summarizes a part of the Life Cycle project, an EU-financed project that focuses on lifelong violence prevention, sharing lessons learned, and giving examples of successful implementations.

Recommended Reads

Belgium extends paternity leave to 15 days

Paternity leave in Belgium will be extended to 15 days from next year, the government announced in a press conference.

Licencia de paternidad de ocho semanas le gusta al Gobierno colombiano, pero no le suena el costo que implicaría

[English: The Colombian government is looking to increase paternity leave to 8 weeks, but the costs are unclear.] A new project seeks to increase parents' time to spend with their newborn to eight weeks.

Who’s Who at MenCare

Aapta Garg

MenCare Global Co-Coordinator
Senior Program Officer,
Washington, DC

Mpho Mabhena

MenCare Global Co-Coordinator
Child Rights and Positive Parenting Regional Coordinator
Sonke Gender Justice
Cape Town, South Africa

Alexa Hassink

MenCare Communications
Director of Marketing and Communications,
Washington, DC

May-Mei Lee

MenCare New Partners
Office Manager,
Washington, DC

Lona Manik

MenCare Communications Support
Community and Digital Marketing Associate,
Washington, DC

Roma Richardson

MenCare Communications Support
Editorial and Brand Management Assistant,
Washington, DC

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