Issue No. 21 - Fathering and Fathers’ Rights Groups: The Canadian landscape

March 2023

The fathers’ rights movement developed in the early 1970s as a response to women’s liberation from the private sphere, including their traditional roles in family life and the home (Amyot, 2010). The initial advocacy of fathers’ rights groups focused primarily on legal issues surrounding separation and divorce, such as child support payments and custody/access arrangements; their efforts were seen as a reaction to laws, such as the United Kingdom’s (UK) Marital Causes Act of 1973 which allegedly favoured mothers during family law proceedings (Amyot, 2010). The initial phase of the fathers’ rights movement was highlighted by Families Need Fathers in the UK, who promoted paternal involvement post-separation and were considered profamily in their advocacy. By the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s, however, the fathers’ rights movement developed into a social movement based in anti-women’s liberation and oppressive politics with a focus on fathers’ rights and the value of paternal authority in line with patriarchal ideologies.

Please, see the brief below for more information.

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