We value the irreplaceable role of fathers and build interdependent relationships with men.

Talk given byTaryn Royall:“We value the irreplaceable role of fathers and build interdependent relationships with men.” From the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations on March 14, 2017.


Taryn Royall is a freshman at Brigham Young University, pursuing a degree in Public Relations with a minor in International Policy and Diplomacy. Taryn is heavily involved with the Brigham Young University Student Association. Taryn is also the event planner for Women’s Services and Resources, where she has played an active role in supporting women and learning about the issues that they face around the world. From working with WSR, she has become extremely passionate about sexual assault, domestic violence, eating disorders, and much more. Taryn has a strong belief in the power of motherhood. She enjoys traveling and has been to 14 countries. Taryn enjoys any outdoor activity, but also appreciates anytime spent inside with family, friends, or a good book. She also has a strong passion for food and enjoys trying new recipes.


PHung Dao is a 14 year old girl from Vietnam. She comes from a very low income, single parent household with two younger siblings. Her mother passed away about two years ago. Her father, Heip Van Dao, commented on this tragedy in the documentary, Half The Sky, “Sometimes when I’m away at work, I can’t sleep at night, thinking of how hard it is for the kids without their mother.” Heip Van Dao is a dedicated father who is away most of the week working.

Heip Van Dao’s love for his children is what touched me the most about this story. He values the education of his daughter and works hard daily to ensure their family has economic support. When asked if he would ever ask Phung to leave school to raise money for their family, he replied, “I told my children that I don’t have land to give them when they grow up. The only thing I can give them is education, so I don’t want my children to drop out of school.” When Phung’s school has parent teacher conferences, Heip returns from work and pays expensive commuting fees and loses two and half to three days worth of wages, to hear how his daughter can improve academically. He said, “If I take one day off, I may be slightly more poor, but if my children do not get educated, they will always be poor.” Heip Van Dao places his daughter’s education and improvement above anything else. He is a selfless, good man, and a good father. (1)

The world needs more fathers like Heip Van Dao. As a maternal feminist, I understand the importance of building relationships with men. I understand how the role of a good father in our society is a huge asset and necessity to our future.

It is a common opinion that fathers are unnecessary, but I agree with David Blackerhorn, author of Fatherless America, when he said, “Part of being a good man means being a good father, and that America {and the world} needs more good men.” (2)

Children with fathers actively involved in their lives are less emotionally reactive, have higher levels of overall well-being, and experience less depression and other anxiety or mood-related disorders. They have higher level IQ and better results in school. Children with active fathers are better able to create and maintain relationships both with kids their own age and with those older and younger than them. (3)

Research consistently shows that children with more father involvement are more successful throughout their lives than those without that fatherly influence. This is especially true with young girls in regards to their education and future success.

Yannick Glemarec, UN Women Deputy Executive Director, was suprised at the lack of research and proposition in regards to the effects of fatherhood. He said, “Not only does involved Fatherhood help children thrive, but it especially allows women and girls to achieve their full potential now, and in future generations.” (4)

Having a father actively engaged in the home can be a large indicator to a girls’ future success. Author, Meg Meeker in her book, Stronger Fathers, Stronger Daughters, explains that fathers have impact on their daughters lives from the instant they come into this world.

Six month old babies score higher on mental development tests if their dads are involved in their lives. This is a recurring theme throughout a young girl’s life- A girl with a warm and loving father achieves higher academic success, manages school stress better, and is twice as likely to stay in school. Teenage girls with caring and connected fathers have significantly fewer suicide attempts and suffer less from low self-esteem, depression, body dissatisfaction, substance abuse, and unhealthy weight. Fathers help girls have higher quantitative and verbal skills, be more likely to attempt and graduate from college, and have higher career aspirations (3 & 5). Statistics have shown that girls with fathers in their lives become more competent, achievement oriented, and overall more successful. However, I would like to note that if this ideal cannot be achieved, similar results may be achieved by other influential figures in their life.

In my own experience, the masculine strength that a father brings to his children and others that he serves empowers them to be their absolute best selves. Having a service oriented, kind, hardworking and present father in my childhood empowered me to achieve both socially and educationally. My father helped teach me how to embrace my feminine nature. He taught me that, as a woman, I am powerful beyond measure. I have my father to thank for a lot of the qualities that I possess and many of the successes that I have accomplished.  In fact, I believe that my father is a large contributor to why I am standing here today.

As a maternal feminist, I value the irreplaceable role that my father has played in my life. I strive to build interdependent relationships with men like him, who will help me and my future sons and daughters reach our full potential and better the worldwide society.

Men account for about 50% of who we work with, talk with, eat with, every day. Just as we can cannot expect improvements without women involved in the conversation, we cannot expect improvements without men involved. If we want to accomplish anything, both genders have got to work together because not only will an involved and loving father impact and raise daughters who are empowered to succeed, but they will also raise boys who are more likely to engage in gender equal behaviors in their lives and relationships.

Yannick Glamerac said, “If we want to change the fathers of tomorrow, we need to work with the children of today.”

So let’s start the conversation. And maybe this message of effective fatherhood can create a large and lasting effect throughout the world.

Thank you.


References

  1. Cinedigm. Viki. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
  2. Blankenhorn, David. Fatherless America: confronting our most urgent social problem. New York, NY: HarperPerennial, 1996. Print.
  3. Behnson, Scott, and Nathan Robbins. “The Effects of Involved Fatherhood on Families, and How Fathers can be Supported both at the Workplace and in the Home.” The Effects of Involved Fatherhood on Families, and How Fathers can be Supported both at the Workplace and in the Home (2016): n. pag. Web. <http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/docs/egm16/BehsonRobbins.pdf>.
  4. “”The state of the world’s fathers in one word? Underestimated” – Yannick Glemarec | UN Women – Headquarters.” UN Women. N.p., 2015. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
  5. Morgan, Nancy. “The Dynamic Influence a Father Has on a Daughter.” United Church of God. N.p., 24 Feb. 2013. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.