Work-from-home options for men? Why not, says ministry

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 04 Mar 2018

MORE work-from-home options should be given to men.

The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry says this will aid men who are househusbands or single fathers.

“The principle of husbands being the pencari rezeki (breadwinner) of the family should be upheld.

“Being a househusband still enables them to work from home.

“Hence, diversifying work options can give a boost to husbands to increase the family’s income,” the ministry says.

With the rising cost of living these days, providing more of such options for househusbands and single fathers will help ease their financial burden and manage domestic affairs, it adds.

The ministry also believes that providing these opportunities to work from home will at least enable men to fulfil their responsibilities as a father and husband, as well as strengthen the family institution.

More men worldwide are also trying their hand at becoming househusbands.

In the United Kingdom, the number of stay-at-home fathers and househusbands have more than doubled in a span of 22 years.

An article by MailOnline reported that the number of such men increased from 111,000 in 1993 to 235,000 in April 2015, based on the country’s Office for National Statistics.

In Japan, a group of househusbands have formed an association, hoping to promote more versatile family arrangements.

According to a report by The Japan Times, the group wants to change the prevailing patriarchal culture in their country.

Saying it’s time to break out of stereotypical gender roles, Women’s Aid Organisation communications officer Tan Heang-lee says society should “normalise” and accept a man’s choice to be a househusband.

“Domestic work isn’t ‘women’s work’,” Tan says.

“Currently, women shoulder a disproportionate burden of domestic work, which hinders them from advancing at the workplace.

“Having more men sharing domestic work would contribute to gender equality.”

Tan also points out that according to researchers from the University of British Columbia, fathers who do more domestic work tend to raise daughters who aspire to have more ambitious careers.

“Various studies also show that children with involved fathers tend to do better in school and have better psychosocial development,” she says.

To illustrate, research from China shows that children who have caring fathers tend to perform better academically, based on a study titled “State of the World’s Fathers” by MenCare, a global campaign to promote men as equitable and non-violent caregivers.

The study also found that when fathers are involved in their children’s lives at school, children perform better.

They are also more likely to complete school, achieve higher levels of career and economic success, says the study.

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