Fathers will have a voice at last
AS a separated father, I was surprised but delighted to read the letter 'Why are working mothers blamed?' by Myria Vassiliadou, Secretary General of the European Women's Lobby (Irish Independent October 7).
On its website, the European Women's Lobby claims to be the largest umbrella organisations of women's associations in the EU and includes, among its national member organisations, the National Women's Council of Ireland. The European Women's Lobby aims to promote women's rights and equality between women and men in Europe, including "equality between women and men in all areas of public and private life".
In her letter, Myria Vassiliadou asks if it is "surely time to recognise that if children of working parents suffer this is the joint and equal concern and responsibility of the father and the mother?"
Hopefully, her question will be heard by the judges of our family law courts who, according to the recent reports by Carol Coulter, grant joint custody to more than 80pc of couples who divorce or separate but with "the main care and residence to the mother", thereby granting responsibility to the mother and financial servitude to the father.
Hopefully, her question will be heard by the Adoption Board, which is bound by law to "consult with the father before reaching a decision on an adoption application" but failed to do so, according to the article which was in the Irish Independent on October 7.
Hopefully, her question will be heard by all the teachers in schools, doctors in hospitals and health services throughout the country that accept the consent of the mother in all areas where consent is required, despite the fact that the consent of fathers, as legal guardians, is required jointly when consent is required.
Fathers rights' groups have been lobbying unsuccessfully for equality in parenting responsibilities for years.
Maybe now, when the European Women's Lobby gets involved in the issue, it might actually happen!Name and address with editor