24. januar 2022

Inequality in housework


What is your share of the housework? Let us guess. If you are a man living with a woman and a number of children your share is around 40%.

Norwegian Robin Havre thought he did most of the housework - until a quarrel with his girlfriend made him create an app to map the share of housework. It turns out his share was below 40%. And Robin's share in housework matches the general Danish share, Mette Gørtz says.

Mette shared her knowledge in P1 Morgen, Saturday 22nd:

Since the 60'ies Danish housework has been registered in studies done by first VIVE and lately also the Rockwool Foundation. The studies show that while Danish men back in the 60'ies did around 10% of the housework the share has changed over time. Still, the share of housework between men and women has not moved the last ten years, and the Danish picture fits Robin's discovery: Danish women spend 3½ hours a day on housework in average, while men spend 2½ hours a day.

The share of hours spent on housework correlates with salary, Mette explains - the one earning the most does the least in the family, and this challenges equality in the labour market.

It is difficult to disentangle whether the inequality in housework is caused by a difference in preferences between men and women or the systems and glass roofs. What we do know is that once a couple adds children into the family equation it affects the mother's salary level negatively with 20%. Also, the unequal share in salary impacts equality for women in the cases where the families are split up due to divorce.