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Quebec fathers are ever increasingly present in the lives of their children with time dedicated to children having doubled over a period of 30 years; where in the past 10 years, the number of shared custody cases has increased from 8% to 20%, where the number of sole custody cases by fathers has rose from 5% to 14%, and where nearly one in four single-parent families is currently headed by a man. This greater engagement of fathers with their children happened quickly. As a result, fathers must today reinvent their role and wish to be recognized for their parental skills. They also seek to fully assume their responsibilities in the event of separation and shared custody. Quebec Fatherhood Week / Semaine Québécois de la Paternité was created in 2013 to foster a public dialogue that validates and values fathers in this new role and recognizes their contribution to society as a full-fledged parent.
As they are more involved with children and home life than their predecessors, many fathers want to better reconcile family and work. In fact, 7 out of 10 fathers report feeling guilty when work commitments take precedence over commitments at home and more than half of them would gladly accept a pay cut to spend more time with their children. Yet, major obstacles are reported by fathers: overloaded, irregular or atypical working hours, little or no access to Family-Work Balance measures and negative perceptions by employers, who in some cases, consider the balance between family and work primarily as the business of women, especially in workplace that are predominantly male. Therefore, Quebec’s Fatherhood Week / Semaine Québécois de la Paternité presents this year a campaign which theme: "For a Winning Family - Pass the Torch. Balancing family and work is a dad’s job too!". By allowing fathers to take over more often in terms of Family-Work Balance, we observe an improved health status for both parents, a greater sense of parental competence, a decrease in work-family conflicts experienced by mothers and by fathers and an increase in the daily time spent by fathers with their children. By allowing fathers to better balance family and work, we are actually balancing family-work also for mothers. Everyone wins!