Public Policies, Parenthood and Gender Equality

Author(s): Alberto Cumbi
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender Policies
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Pétur Waldorff


This essay examines the role of public policies on parenthood in generating gender equality in Mozambique. The focus is on how these policies boost the equal participation of men and women in maternal and infant healthcare, as well as the sharing in childcare responsibilities between men and women given that the care-giving of children is seen as a woman´s responsibility. The analysis was based on the Model of Evaluation of Gender Integration in policies, developed by the Inter-agency Gender Working Group which recognizes that the intended results of policies can be affected by unequal gender roles when actions for tackling gender inequalities are not clearly defined. The analysis found out that in general some public policies appropriate the global critical discourse on the importance of gender approaches, assuming gender equality and human rights as one of the principles in their design and implementation. Yet, these principles are not clearly reflected in strategies and activities to ensure equal participation of women and men in reproductive health and care-giving of children. The definition of actions that aims to tackle unequal gender norms accompanied by actions raising gender awareness should be seen as one way of boosting gender equality in domestic households. It could also increases gender equality in the labour market by preventing childcare from becoming a factor of disadvantage for women on the paid labour market.