Dads are more involved with kids than they were decades ago. From changing diapers to feeding and babysitting, young fathers are more aware now of the importance and necessity of ‘being there’ whenever possible. Requesting changing tables in men’s restrooms sounds like fun news we hear on the internet, but it’s definitely a step forward in gender equality, enabling all parents to take part in child care.
Obama has just signed the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act (a.k.a Babies Act) which requires diaper-changing facilities in male and female restrooms in public federal buildings, such as Social Security offices, courthouses and post offices. The law defines “baby changing facility” as “a table or other device suitable for changing the diaper of a child age 3 or under” and mandates that these facilities be “physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate.”
The Babies Act Initiative/Law came as a conclusion of pressing requests from social media celebrities and bloggers. Without access to changing tables, fathers may use other surfaces to change diapers which could result of course in children’s health risks.
Actor Ashton Kutcher has supported greater access to baby changing facilities. Last year, he started a Change.org petition to call for changing tables in men’s bathrooms in major retail stores.
“As a new dad, I recently learned an unfortunate reality about changing diapers while out in public with a child,” Ashton wrote on Change.org. “Almost all public changing tables are in women’s bathrooms, which makes it nearly impossible to find a table that’s accessible to dads.” He added.
Ashton’s petition for global changing tables was signed by more than 100,000 people! The campaign also launched a public discussion about baby-changing station accessibility, especially for single fathers.
A viral and amazing photo of Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg changing his daughter’s diapers, was circulating the internet too.
It’s just wonderful how young men are starting to actually love being there for their babies out of love and care and not out of pressure or obligation. We really hope Egyptian and Arab dads stand for similar initiatives!