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This article focuses on work-life balance: the combination of work outside the home with parental and domestic responsibilities. Today, problems arising from work-life balance constitute an important obstacle to gender equality. Most commentators have defined this as a women’s problem, but others argue that until men assume an equal share of responsibilities in the home women cannot gain equality in the work-force, the home, or many other areas of life. The article looks at the origins of this debate, focusing on three prominent feminist thinkers—the German Lily Braun, the Swedish Alva Myrdal, and the French Simone de Beauvoir. The central issue—a father’s role in the family—is placed in the context of three historical periods: the pre-war era (1900–1918); the interwar era (1918–1945); and the post-war era (1945–1960).