the fatherhood we want?

Where are the fathers?

The nuclear family is largely a myth and worryingly large numbers of children are being raised without their biological fathers.

While many children, raised by single mothers, grow up and thrive for many others, the absence of positive and active presence of men in their lives puts them at risk.

It deprives these fatherless children of the physical and emotional security that an involved father brings to the family dynamic. 

Research from around the world, including South Africa, has demonstrated the importance of engaged and supportive fathers.


Africa Fatherhood Initiative, Tumeka testimonial

Children need mothers and fathers

Fatherhood is an integral part of parenting, and it is crucial to promote responsible and involved fatherhood in Africa. Fathers play a significant role in the lives of their children [...]
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ATM Dad, Africa Fatherhood Initiative

Fatherhood is Not just about the ATM

Promoting responsible and involved fatherhood in Africa is an important step towards creating stronger and healthier families. Fatherhood is a critical aspect of parenting that is often overlooked in many [...]
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happy family resting in bed with little dog

Fathers and Families

Fatherhood is an essential part of any family structure, and it is vital to promote responsible and involved fatherhood in Africa. As a continent, Africa is home to a diverse [...]
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Colleen Lowe Morna, CEO Gender Links and her father, Africa Fatherhood Initiative, Gender Links

A letter to my father

Over the course of several months Gender Links has been collecting views about fathers for its Phenomenal Fathers tribute for Father’s Day, 2013. Visit Gender Links to see all the [...]
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Becoming a man

Boys need father figures

Growing up without a father figure has a profound effect on boys that lasts into manhood. Boys need a father figure to learn how to be a man.

Without having this influence in their lives, boys are at risk of growing into men who have problems with behavior, emotional stability, and relationships with both significant others and their own children.

When children are not exposed to an involved father figure or elder male, they face a high possibility of being perpetrators and victims of violence in both their childhood and adulthood.

Fathers and daughters

Girls need to grow up unafraid

daughter kisses dad, Africa Fatherhood Initiative
Daughters need great fathers. In fact, it would be nearly impossible to overstate the importance of the father-daughter relationship.

Young women who have a positive relationship with their fathers achieve more academically. They make better relationship choices.

A father shows his daughter what a good relationship with a man is like. If a father is loving and gentle, his daughter will look for those qualities in men when she's old enough to begin dating.


In Africa, fatherhood has traditionally been associated with providing for the family financially, while the mother takes care of the children's emotional and physical needs. However, there has been a growing advocacy for fathers to be more involved in their children's lives, not just as providers but also as nurturing caregivers.
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Fatherhood research in Africa is the study of the experiences of fathers and the roles they play in their families and communities. It involves examining the various challenges and opportunities that fathers face, as well as the impact of fatherhood on the well-being of children, women, and society as a whole.
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Fatherhood policy refers to the set of laws, regulations, and social policies that aim to support and promote the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives. This includes policies related to paternity leave, child support, child custody, and parental leave.
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Fatherhood practice, teach child to wash hands, Africa Fatherhood Initiative


Fatherhood in Africa is a complex and diverse phenomenon that encompasses a wide range of cultural practices and norms. At its core, fatherhood is about providing support and nurturing relationships within the family and community.
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In women's words

Africa Fatherhood Initiative, Tumeka testimonial

“There are good men out there, we just need more of them! We won't get them without investing in the type of fathers we want. This needs turning around and the AFI team can steer us in the right directions”

Mother of three

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Children without involved fathers, or a significant older male father figure, are at great risk of both perpetrating and becoming victims of violence - both as children and adults - and of becoming victims of substance abuse; teen pregnancy; poor academic achievement; mental health problems and delinquency.

Contact info

  • Parklands, Cape town, 7441
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