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?
Learn more how Australian women and men divide household work and unpaid caring duties by watching this quick clip.
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, and this short piece from John Hoxie who explains why he doesn’t ‘help’ his wife with household duties.
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.
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 disproportionately 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 that the work needed to organise and undertake your weekly routine, children’s extracurricular activities and special events such as birthdays, Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations is shared equitably among your family/friends
- Ensure that any tasks allocated to children are distributed equitably across genders
- Take steps to ensure that caring responsibilities are distributed equitably, including weekends and school holidays
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.