HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership
Co-Director, Women and Public Policy Program
Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management


The purpose of this concluding chapter is to offer scholars, policy makers, and organizational leaders a preliminary framework for diagnosing barriers to engaged fatherhood and for generating policies, programs, and behavioral interventions to promote gender equity in parenting. We start by reviewing the case for engaged fatherhood to support the health and welfare of men and their families and to regain momentum in the stalled revolution toward gender equality. Building from the cross-disciplinary and cross-national collaboration that led to the construction of this edited volume, we propose three working principles for reducing the barriers to engaged fatherhood: (1) create individual, non-transferable parenting resources explicitly for fathers, (2) reduce economic conflicts between breadwinning and caregiving, and (3) build supportive social networks for engaged fatherhood. We explain how these principles apply to social policy, as well as to work and healthcare practices—the three fields of scholarship and practice represented at our original Fatherhood Experts Meeting. We conclude with suggestions for further cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural collaboration to enhance engaged fatherhood.


Bowles, Hannah Riley, Milton Kotelchuck, and Marc Grau Grau. "Reducing Barriers to Engaged Fatherhood: Three Principles for Promoting Gender Equity in Parenting." Engaged Fatherhood for Men, Families and Gender Equality. Ed. Marc Grau Grau, Mireia las Heras Maestro, and Hannah Riley Bowles. Springer, Cham, 2022.