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Number of working women leads to more Filipino stay-at-home fathers

MANILA, Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network -- With more and more Filipino women leaving for work abroad, the country is seeing the rise of Filipino househusbands spouses left behind to take care of the household and the children, a Catholic Church official said on Saturday.

Father Edwin Corros, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI), said there was nothing to be ashamed about being a househusband although it reverses the traditional roles of married men and women raising their families.

“Don't be ashamed if you are a househusband,” Corros said in an interview.

“It's only proper for those husbands who do not have work, to do their share by doing the work that is normally being done by women at home so as to also contribute in improving their family life,” he added.

Corros said more than half of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who leave the country annually are women, many of them domestic helpers.

They are Many

“More than 50 percent of them (migrants) happen to be Filipino women,” he said.

However, Corros said that since the government does not ask OFWs leaving about their civil status, it would be “hard to tell who among them are actually married or single.”

“Even if they say that they are married, but they did not disclose that they are separated that can also be a problem. That's why it's hard to make a generalization, but it's possible that they (househusbands) are many,” he said.

Corros said even within the country, a lot of those employed especially in the service sector were women.

“Since the demand for jobs are changing, women are now more proactive in work than men,” the priest said.

“We just don't know if the husbands of these women, such as the salesladies that we see working in malls, are working or not,” he added.

No Shame

Nevertheless, Corros said husbands should not feel ashamed if they are the ones left at home tending to their kids and doing the household chores. He urged children of “responsible househusbands” to honor their fathers.

“In the newspapers, we see ads urging people to treat their father to this and that or buy him a new watch and so on. It's really more of commercialism rather than authentic honor for the father because he does this for you. He did exactly what is expected of him as a father,” Corros said.

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