Potential versus Reality: The Importance of Resources in Challenging Gendered Family Practices

Esther Dermott


Family life is recognised as a central domain for the achievement of greater gender equality. Transformations in fatherhood policies have been key in signalling the value of both mothers and fathers as parents and reflecting new discourses about the ability and need for men and women to care. Meanwhile persistent inequalities in this sphere — in relation to the undertaking of practical care, and overall responsibility for household management — have been suggested as limits on progress. This article draws on studies in the UK that examine the relationship between gender, parenting, and poverty to suggest that overall empirical evidence continues to highlight the ongoing ways in which the allocation of financial resources within households, and the nature and extent of parental obligations to children, result in mothers continuing to do more in ways that seem unlikely to be further transformed without significant intervention and a shift in focus.


families; fathers; households; money; mothers; parenting; policy; poverty


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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1971-8853/9084


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