We have women CEOs, board members of Fortune 500 companies, Prime Ministers of countries. And they all have one thing in common, they are probably doing more than their fair share of household duties.
From educated homes to the wealthiest homes to the ones in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities women are doing up to 50% more household duties ranging from cooking to cleaning to grocery shopping. This may make the most progressive and liberal men out there uncomfortable but it’s the bitter truth.
None of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes. That’s a depressing thought, isn’t it?
Gender inequality stats
For the world at large, there are several challenges from the safety of women to policy to having a political voice that contributes to this gap. However, most modern and progressive men are keen to bridge this gap.
In a survey we conducted, we found that 87% of the men were for gender equality in household work.
So where’s the gap?
In an audit we asked the same men to conduct, we found that 68% of the work across cooking, cleaning the house, washing the dishes and child care was done by the women.
What is causing gender bias?
There’s a big part of the gender revolution still waiting to happen. This is more than ‘wanting’ equality for their partners, mothers, daughters, sisters or colleagues. Leading social scientists believe there are a couple of strong factors holding us back.
One, the signal from society. Women are held responsible for old-world standards of maintaining a clean house, stocked fridge, fed children etc. This makes it easier for women to pick up the baton even while they have partners who are keen to help. It is generations of signaling which are tough to avoid.
Two, habits shaped in childhood. A lot of young modern men do want to help but they’ve grown up in homes where they haven’t seen any role modeling by their own fathers or brothers. Women by contrast have grown up around an unhealthy dose of household duty thrust on their mothers. Did the coffee spill on the floor? 9 out of 10 times you are likely to see a woman spring to clean up but it isn’t the instinctive reaction for most men.
Men who clean are men who care
There’s a balance in place even if not equal. So why should you care?
The healthiest relationships are those where the partners feel like both parties are contributing.
Women actually find men who pick up the load in household duties and child care to be more attractive in the long term.
It’s the most genuine and non-material way to show you care.