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Just days after her mother’s first official rally of her 2016 presidential bid, Chelsea Clinton appeared at the United Nations on Tuesday to introduce a report on the state of the world’s fathers. This global research project examined the state of men’s contribution to parenting and established an agenda to improve equality around the world.
Clinton was on hand in her role as vice chair of the Clinton Foundation. Its No Ceilings project partnered with the U.N.’s HeForShe movement and Men Care, a global fatherhood campaign, to produce the report. She spoke about her fresh connection to the role of fathers in the months since her first child, Charlotte, was born.
“I hadn’t understood that one of the great joys of becoming a mother would be watching my husband become a father,” she said of her partner, Marc Mezvinsky. “I am so grateful for his dedication, his support, his love and the investments that he makes in our daughter every single day.” In her opening remarks, she made no mention of her own father, nor did she refer to Hillary or her campaign at any time. The report was the focus of the day.
Following Clinton’s speech, leaders from the United Nations Population Fund, International Planned Parenthood Federation, U.N. Women, Save the Children, HeforShe campaign, and more discussed the findings. It’s not especially surprising to learn that men are still not sharing the housework — not a single country has earned a 50/50 split of caregiving duties — or that the majority of countries do not offer paid paternity leave.
As for goals, the report set out several areas of improvement, chief among them fathers simply spending more time with their children and setting a good example. When fathers participate in housework, it shows an impact on their children’s view of equality; the report further calculated that if women could participate in the labor market at the same rate men do, the GDP would increase in the United States by five percent, and in countries like Egypt by 34 percent.
Though Hillary Clinton did not participate in the event, its talking points align with a primary principle of her platform: more support for families. She is prioritizing paid sick days, paid parental leave and universal preschool, among other initiatives. “This isn’t a women’s issue,” she stated at her rally in New York. “It’s a family issue.”
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