by Miriam Merrill
The world continues to advocate for female empowerment but fails to acknowledge the irreplaceable role fathers have in contributing to the movement. I consider myself a strong woman. For my 13th birthday I received a thick book called “Women Making America” filled with stories of women throughout history that made our nation great. I loved studying about them and dreamt of what I would do to make my own powerful contribution to the world someday. I remember looking at photos of brave Women Air Force Service Pilots and Red Cross Nurses during World War Two and realizing they exemplified everything I admired. I’m a major advocate of strong women not only because I was raised by one, but also because I was raised by a strong man.
If we want to raise successful girls we need empowered, involved fathers to impact their daughters the way no one else can. Many in today’s world do not realize that men and women can liberate each other. Some even believe the world would be better suited without men at all, but if we want to have strong communities, families, and children, we need empowered women and empowered men.
The United Nations’ website suggests that to solve societal issues you can shop “vintage” to decrease waste and get a rug to conserve energy. All of these are admirable, but I suggest a more effective solution, than even picketing or writing impassioned Facebook posts. It is a lot less Instagrammable and a lot more old fashioned. I believe that by strengthening the role and value of fatherhood and good men in society, we will solve many of the same issues activists advocate for.
Concerned about world poverty? You may want to know that children growing up with absent fathers are almost four times more likely to live in a state of poverty.
Want a good education for your daughters? The children of absent fathers are twice as likely to drop out of high school. Involved, nurturing fathers who play with their infants have higher IQs and better cognitive capacities.
If you applauded Michele Obama’s initiative for healthier children you might be interested to know that fatherless homes are more likely to produce children with obesity. And if you desire confidence for your daughter in her romantic relationships, you should know that a higher rate of paternal involvement can predict greater self-worth in daughters and therefore, daughters more successfully refuse unwanted sexual activity. Children who live in a married household with their biological father present are also significantly less likely to be physically abused and sexually abused in general.
Find these along with more statistics highlighting the importance of empowered, present fathers here.
Involved fathers strengthen their daughters by teaching them their worth. My dad took advantage of countless opportunities to teach me values vital to my success in the home, at school, and in the work force. His efforts complimented my mother’s in helping me discover my self worth. This Father’s Day and every day, I hope we can celebrate the unique and different opportunities men and women have to support, strengthen, and lift each other. If we want empowered women, we need empowered women and men to raise them.