Close the Chore Gap to Promote Equality at Home
Learn how to lighten the load and share it among everyone in your house.
Have you been doing more chores around the house lately? If so, you’re not alone. If not … maybe you should check in with others in your household to see if you can pitch in.
COVID-19 has people spending more time at home, and while that’s been positive for some, it’s also increased the work required to keep our houses clean. For some people, that workload is heavier than for others.
New P&G research sheds light on areas of inequality in how chores are divided among members of a home. In fact, in 65% of households, the responsibility for most chores still falls on one person. This is called a “chore gap.”
Procter & Gamble home care brands Dawn and Swiffer recently launched “Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap,” an initiative encouraging all of us to take a fresh look at the division of household work and to do our part to promote equality at home.
The research shows that when we create more equality at home, a lot of other positives happen as well. Relationships improve. Children learn responsibility, respect and empathy. And parents and children feel more connected.
Just like in other aspects of relationships, when it comes to keeping up with chores, communication is key. Despite the challenges of being home more, people who are openly talking about new expectations and needs are actually experiencing relationship benefits.
In fact, 52% of people living with their spouse report that the changed division of household chores has made them feel closer to one another, and 44% say it has made them feel more respected.
In general, LGBTQIA+ individuals are more likely to take on half of the household chores compared to their heterosexual peers (29% LGBTQIA+ vs. 19% heterosexual). Interestingly, these couples also report that they are more likely to talk about chores, indicating that having an open dialogue around responsibilities is key to closing the chore gap.
Eve Rodsky, author of the New York Times bestseller “Fair Play,” recommends an ownership start-to-finish mindset for housework, complete with established roles and responsibilities and clear lines of communication. “Not only is this model more efficient, but it has a huge impact on our relationships,” she continued.
Men Experience Positive Emotional Benefits from Helping at Home
When we all pitch in, it’s better for everyone. Forty-three percent of men say that being more aware of all the household chores their significant other takes on has made them want to help out more. When they do, they realize a slew of positive benefits. Fifty-two percent of these men say they feel happier, 54% feel more respected and 68% say their family is stronger.
Responsibility of Chores Can Help Children Become Better Citizens
Even kids can contribute to lightening the chore load. Forty-seven percent of parents have taken time at home to engage their kids more in household chores.
Children as young as toddlers can assist with small jobs like putting their clothes in the hamper at night or picking up their toys before bed. Older children can take on other age-appropriate responsibilities like washing dishes, doing laundry or even contributing to meal planning.
Parents whose children have been helping out more during COVID-19 say that as a result, their kids have been more respectful (40%), more grateful (41%), and that it has led to a stronger relationship with them (32%).
Equality in Household Chores Creates a Positive Ripple Effect_
During a time when our family, work and school lives are happening in the same physical space, our homes have to become our most important organization, says Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global.
According to research, 63% of women say that they take on the main responsibility for chores at home. Women spend an average of 100+ more hours per year on household chores than men. While this extra time is significant, equality in chores at home is improving as families spend more time together.
Several factors drive people to become more involved in chores, including: wanting to be a good role model for their children (83% of parents); wanting to be fair to their partner/family (74% of parents who live with their spouse); a belief in shared responsibility (75%); a desire to avoid conflict/argument (61%); and because sharing chores gives them more time together as a family (55% of parents).
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new normal that’s a better normal, where responsibilities are divided up in a clear, fair and equitable way,” Huffington said. “Closing the chore gap and helping families share the mental load means less household stress, not only for women — but for everyone.”
P&Gers Come Clean
Learn some tips on how to close the chore gap in your own home from some of our P&G employees who are figuring it out, too.
When every member of the household comes together to do their part, we can create more equality at home, which helps us take small steps toward creating more equality in the world.
After all, there’s something for everyone to do, and everyone can do something. Let’s all do our part.
Also, check out the household management app S'moresUp, which serves as a great resource to help get started on closing the chore gap in your own home. S’moresUp makes sharing chores easier and more rewarding for families.