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. This advocacy has led to changes in policy and practice, as seen in initiatives such as paternity leave and parenting programs that encourage fathers to play a more active role in their children's upbringing. These changes are aimed at promoting social change, by redefining gender roles and promoting gender equality in parenting.
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.