In recent years, the concept of fatherhood has undergone significant evolution, particularly in Spain. With changing societal norms and expectations, fathers are redefining their roles within the family unit. However, despite the shift towards a more present and involved fatherhood, there remains a disparity between ideals and realities. This article explores this phenomenon, analyzing the factors contributing to the discrepancy and proposing potential solutions for achieving greater equity in parental responsibilities.

Sergio C. Fanjul’s Perspective:

In a recent interview, Sergio C. Fanjul, author and journalist, highlighted the importance of being a present father rather than striving for perfection. His sentiments echo a growing sentiment among men entering fatherhood in the 21st century. However, while intentions may be noble, the reality often falls short of the ideal.

The State of Paternity in Spain:

Data from the “State of Fatherhood and Care in Spain” report reveals a shift in attitudes towards paternal involvement in caregiving responsibilities. More men than women express willingness to consider part-time work or take unpaid leave to care for their children. Despite these intentions, the uptake of parental leave and involvement in caregiving remains disproportionately low among fathers.

Exploring the Discrepancy:

Psychologist Máximo Peña highlights the common disconnect between knowledge and behavior, emphasizing the need for structural changes to facilitate greater paternal involvement. While there is a desire among men to participate more in caregiving, various barriers, including societal norms and financial constraints, hinder progress.

Ritxar Bacete’s Optimism:

Writer and social worker Ritxar Bacete views the desire for greater paternal involvement as a positive development, signaling a shift towards more equitable caregiving roles. However, he acknowledges the challenges posed by entrenched gender norms and calls for systemic changes to support fathers in their caregiving endeavors.

The Role of Policy and Culture:

Experts argue that policy interventions, such as equal and non-transferable parental leave, are essential for promoting greater paternal involvement. However, they caution that such measures alone are insufficient to effectuate lasting cultural change. It requires a multifaceted approach, including education, economic incentives, and healthcare reforms.

Lessons from Sweden:

Drawing parallels with Sweden, where progressive caregiving policies have been in place for decades, experts highlight the long-term impact of systemic reforms on cultural attitudes towards fatherhood. While Spain has made strides, it still faces resistance in traditionally male-dominated industries.

Optimism Amid Challenges:

Despite the obstacles, there is cause for optimism. Millions of men worldwide are embracing caregiving roles, contributing to healthier family dynamics and personal fulfillment. As societal norms continue to evolve, there is hope for a future where fatherhood is defined by presence, not perfection.


The evolution of fatherhood in Spain reflects broader societal changes towards more equitable gender roles. While challenges persist, there is momentum towards greater paternal involvement in caregiving. By addressing structural barriers and fostering cultural shifts, Spain can pave the way for a more inclusive and fulfilling model of fatherhood in the 21st century.

Last modified: 2024年4月27日