Share the care

January 10, 2021

Did you know that not only is lumping the majority of domestic duties – cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, childcare – on women a bore (hey, it’s 2021, peeps!), it’s also one of the key contributors to the gender pay gap?

Traditional gender roles and stereotypes that place women “in the kitchen” have a lot to answer for, when it comes to the burden of unpaid work that falls on women. And this, in turn, means that women face a disproportionate amount of time out of paid work. Which impacts not only their ability to earn an income, but also their ability to develop their professional skills, achieve promotion, build their lifetime earnings and superannuation.

It’s a slippery slope, made slipperier by Australia’s policy settings – income tax, family payment, childcare support, parental leave systems – that can deter women with children from increasing their workforce participation.

We will unashamedly direct this one to the men who might not be doing their fair share at the moment (not that we’re making any accusations!). One small thing that you can do to make a difference to this form of gender inequality is to step up – to the sink, to the nappy change table, to the shopping trolley, to the kitchen bench, to the ironing board – and commit to equally sharing the unpaid domestic tasks with your partner!

And we ALL need to properly value this unpaid domestic and care work. The work of parents homeschooling their children, looking out for neighbours, cooking and the associated paid but culturally under-valued care and cleaning work is what has pulled us through the pandemic!

Don’t take our word for all this, though. If your gender equity resolution for 2021 is to share the care, then read this to understand just how significant what you’re doing really is, when it comes to gender equality.

And then roll up your sleeves and get ready to make a difference!