Think about how household duties are allocated in your household, or among your immediate or extended family. For example, who does the cooking, repairs, cleaning, childcare, grocery shopping, laundry, taking children for extracurricular activities, or taking family members to appointments? Reflect on who does these duties, tasks and chores, and why. How was this decided? How are the different tasks valued, rewarded and acknowledged in your house or by your family.
Take a look at ‘You should’ve asked’ a comic by French artist Emma, that depicts the considerable and unfair pressure placed on women when they are required to shoulder the ‘mental load’ of household management.
Read this article by Rob Sturrock who discusses how men and fathers can actively support equality in their home
How does it help?
Rigid gender roles and stereotypes classify domestic and caring responsibilities as ‘women’s work’; this work is unpaid and undervalued. In Australia, women still do the majority of unpaid work, which impacts on their capacity for participating in the workforce, economic security, free time and health and wellbeing. A 2014 OECD report revealed that Australian women spend 311 minutes a day on unpaid work (compared to 172 minutes for men), 168 minutes on routine housework (compared to 93 for men), and 64 minutes on care for household members (compared to 27 minutes for men).
You can continue to support gender equity in the division of labour in your house or family:
- Have a conversation with your household about who does what unpaid work, why, and how it can be equitably shared
- Take steps to ensure that the women in your life aren’t disproportionally carrying the ‘mental load’ of managing household affairs
- Put in practices in your household to ensure that all unpaid work is acknowledged, particularly caring and domestic work traditionally undertaken by women which is often unacknowledged and undervalued
- Take steps to make sure the domestic and organising work for your family events, birthdays, Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations is shared equitably among your family/friends
Please note that these clips/articles contain information regarding the topics of sexism, gender inequality and violence against women. If you find the information distressing, please click through for information and support on self care. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please visit the our help section for further information and support.