With this week’s celebration of the International women’s day, we are reminded of two things. The first is the remembrance of all the social, political, economic and cultural achievements of women in our societies and the second is the continuous fight for women’s right and gender equality in the world.
With the restructuring of our societies views on genders and their subsequent roles and parts, firstly in the family setting and secondly in society as large, what have become of the expectations society has on women, more specifically when it comes to managing the house? Going further in that direction, we cannot refrain to ask the question: Is taking care of the house still a woman’s job?
Numbers don’t lie. Even while working part-time to full-time jobs, women mostly take upon themselves household and familial responsibilities. With 15.12 hours spent weekly on housework for women compared to a 9.73 hours for men, women are still doing most of the work when it comes to taking care of the home in the US (1). Now, depending on where you come from these numbers may vary but this observation remains constant.
Our purpose is not to shift house chores and cleaning responsibilities to one side, but how do we share the burden between the two.
Even though nowadays people can be so sensitive when we discuss gender, there is no excuse robbing each and everyone of us of our basic responsibilities. House chores and cleaning are everyone’s responsibilities and should not be gender based and if you think they must be, you probably need some help.
We live in a world of balance, tip towards one side and imbalance is what you get. The family setting is one great example of where this concept of “balance” plays a role. For example, we can all agree that a child needs to be raised. Whether this is done by both parents or a single parent. Of course, it is always best if both parents participate. The idea here is in the raising of the child and instilling values in him/her that will impact his community positively even when you as a parent are long gone.
Same with cleaning, your home (bought or rented) is likened to a baby that constantly needs looking after. Now who does the cleaning of it (man or woman) is not necessarily the main point but why we should keep these places clean. And of course, it’s always best if both participate in the cleaning.
Now that you understand my point, being hygienic and being able to keep your house clean, for the various benefits is far more significant than who does it.
Let us take the family setting of a husband and wife, since I can’t speak for the boyfriend and girlfriend that decided to cohabitate but have not committed themselves to each other for a lifetime. And yes I can see you already collecting stones to throw at me, but be of good cheer, this is no big deal.
So, for the married, cleaning and doing house chores together has been mentioned to be one thing that strengthens the bond of love between partners.
If your wife is tired or under the monthly order of things, under visitation let us say, please sir, by all means clean the house, wash those dishes, cook that quick meal you happened to have stumbled upon on YouTube. Loving your wife is shown in the small things that improve her health and your family’s. Women, the same goes out to you. (And all the men and women applauded.)
In this pandemic, there is no questioning the importance of home cleanliness, as many people are working remotely from home and as we are now spending over 80% of our time in doors, surrounded by the ones we love.
There is so much that we would love to write but my word count will not permit me. In conclusion, chores are not based on gender. Man or woman, keep your house clean for the sake of your loved ones. Do not run away from this basic responsibility.