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From Provider to Carer: Identifying Opportunities and Challenges of the New South African Fatherhood

By J. Ferrari Froning


This study examines the impact of a paternity leave on South African fathers’ caring behaviour at home during and after leave days. Furthermore, the challenges and opportunities of implementing a statutory paternity leave in South Africa are accessed through the interdisciplinary lens of the capability approach. By taking into account (1) individual, (2) societal, and (3) institutional factors, this multi –layered analysis focusses on theories about masculinity, fatherhood and organizational culture to shed further light on current gender dynamics. Findings from 15 semi-structured interviews with fathers, employers and trade union representatives, show that partly malleable gender norms and supportive organisational cultures provide sustenance for changes in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997). However, institutional barriers and the lack of a unified movement at the forefront advocating in favour of a statutory paternity leave are delaying the progress

Topics: Capability approach, fatherhood, gender equality, paternity leave
Year: 2016
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