Gender Equality in Child Support Policy: Fathers' Rhetoric of "Fairness" in a Parliamentary Inquiry
- Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 26, Number 1, Spring 2019
- pp. 164-187
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Child support payments extend separated fathers' male breadwinning role across households, likely fuelling fathers' perceptions of "unfairness". By examining fathers' written submissions to an Australian inquiry, we examine fathers' claims of unfairness, which were expressed in terms of gender inequality. Here, we show how fathers adopted a gender equality discourse that left intact the existing gender order. Through expectations for equal treatment, men claimed the child support system would produce equality of outcomes, namely, eliminating the redistributive need for child support payments. In doing so, fathers' qualified support for gender equality advantaged men as payers while further entrenching gender inequity.