In the ever-evolving landscape of gender roles and expectations, it’s disheartening to witness that even in 2023, women often find themselves shouldering the majority of household chores. A Guardian survey shows that they feel they end up doing all of the housework. Covid lockdown revealed that between 60-70% of women and girls assumed a greater responsibility for housework and cooking than their make counterparts. Despite the progress made in various aspects of gender equality, the division of housework remains a prevailing issue. Surprisingly, the guilt associated with seeking external help for domestic tasks adds an extra layer of complexity to the situation. In this blog, we delve into the root causes behind this. We explore ways to challenge these norms and enable us foster a more equitable and supportive home environment for everyone.
Understanding the Household Gender Divide
Historically, societal norms have assigned specific roles to men and women within the household. Traditional gender roles have perpetuated the notion that women are primarily responsible for maintaining the home, while men focus on external responsibilities. Despite significant advancements towards gender equality, these deeply ingrained stereotypes continue to influence household dynamics.
The Emotional Labour Factor
Beyond the physical aspect of housework, there’s another dimension at play: emotional labour. This refers to the mental and emotional effort involved in organising and managing a household, including planning, delegating tasks, and remembering various responsibilities. Women often find themselves disproportionately carrying this burden, which can lead to burnout and a sense of emotional exhaustion.
Societal Expectations and Pressures
Societal expectations further exacerbate the household gender divide. Women may feel judged or criticised if their homes don’t meet certain standards. This can be the case even if they are juggling multiple roles and responsibilities outside the house. As a result, they may internalise the belief that seeking help signifies a personal failure, rather than a pragmatic decision to alleviate the workload.
Breaking Free from the Guilt
Recognise and Challenge Gender Norms: Acknowledge that traditional gender roles are outdated. Both partners in a relationship can (and should) share household responsibilities in a way that suits their individual strengths and preferences.
Open Communication: Encourage open and honest conversations about household chores and the emotional labour involved. Discuss how each partner can contribute effectively and support each other in maintaining a balanced and harmonious home.
Seeking External Help is Empowering: Embrace the idea that seeking professional cleaning help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a practical step towards reclaiming time for activities that truly matter to you.
Share Responsibilities Equitably: Create a schedule that allocates tasks fairly, considering each person’s availability and abilities. Rotate responsibilities regularly to ensure a sense of shared ownership.
In 2023, it’s crucial to challenge the norms that perpetuate the gendered division of household labour. By fostering open communication, challenging stereotypes, and embracing external support, we pave the way towards a more equitable and guilt-free future for everyone. At Just Helpers, we have a mixed gender team. We provide top-notch cleaning services to households across London. This contributes to a fairer distribution of responsibilities and allows individuals to reclaim their time and energy.
Together, let’s build a society where everyone can thrive. Let’s stop being weighed down by outdated expectations and make sure that the womenfolk are not left holding the baby while doing all the housework.
I’m Antoinette and the CEO of Just Helpers Cleaning Agency. I’m passionate about social justice and empowering people to find their joy, work from a place of strength and positively impact the world around them. When not trying to save the world 😉 I love cooking up a storm in my kitchen and eating and chatting around a table with friends. Find me at antoinettedaniel.com.visit my website