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Changing gender norms related to home and family care

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It matters to what extent men and women believe that taking care of the home and family is the job of one or should be shared equally. ‎

Men are ready to take on more responsibilities related to the care of children and elderly relatives, as well as household tasks. Ingrained social expectations and lack of support, however, discourage them from doing so.‎

The state of fathers in the world

Between 70% and 90% of men in 16 of the 17 countries surveyed say they feel equally responsible for care work as their partner, but unequal pay and inadequate government policies mean women still do up to seven times more unpaid care work in some countries, according to the State of the World’s Fathers report.‎

The report surveyed nearly 12,000 respondents from countries including Colombia, Rwanda, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, China and the United States. It found that globally men spend only 19% of their non-free time in unpaid work compared to 55% for women.

India is the only exception among the countries surveyed, where only 25% of men feel as responsible as their partner when it comes to unpaid care work. The campaigns of big brands like Ariel and Pampers in India highlight the problem of unevenly distributed household responsibilities through #ShareTheLoad and #ItTakes2

The situation in Bulgaria

In a study carried out by the “Trend” agency on behalf of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria (CWBB) in 2021, it is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on Bulgarian women. 42% of respondents indicated that household duties had increased, 37% had more commitments related to caring for elderly parents or relatives, and 25% declared an increase in duties related to children’s education.

The reasons

On average, men’s wages around the world are a fifth higher than women’s, so many households decide that men’s paid work brings more to the household, the report said. ‎

In countries where parental leave is transferrable between partners, men never claim the same amount of leave as women. Of the fathers and mothers surveyed who didn’t want all the parental leave they were offered, 40% said it was because they feared losing their jobs, 36% cited unsupportive managers and 18% said They worry about being judged by friends and family

Therefore, one of the key policies that the report recommends is non-transferable and equal parental leave for both parents.‎

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