Spain to launch app to highlight the housework gender gap
Spain will introduce an app that aims to address the gender balance of household chores by asking men and women to log how many hours they spend doing housework, The Times has reported.
“We women spend more time on domestic tasks than men,” said Ángela Rodríguez, second-in-command in Spain’s ministry of equality, in Geneva at a convention for the committee on the elimination of discrimination against women (Cedaw).
Cedaw was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and is considered to be an international bill of rights for women.
Spain’s app, which The Times says is expected to cost €211,750 (£184,183) to create, will have a feminist focus, to highlight the “invisible tasks” that women complete at home.
Ms Rodríguez used the examples of making sure that there was enough washing up liquid to do the dishes, or that the fridge was stocked with groceries to make dinner, rather than simply “cooking” and “cleaning”.
UN Women says women in Spain spend 19 per cent of the time on unpaid care and domestic work, compared with the 8.6 per cent men spend.
All households will reportedly be encouraged to use the app, not just couples.
Ms Rodríguez says she believes it will be useful for “sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, or those of us who live with flatmates or life partners where an unequal distribution sometimes also exists”.
The Spanish government is determining which company will be given the project. It hopes that it will be launched this summer as part of the country’s “co-responsibility plan”.
Aside from being unjust, unequal domestic labour can have serious consequences.
In March, France24.reported that a Spanish court ordered a man to pay his ex-wife €200,000 (£174,000) for 25 years of unpaid labour.
The ruling found that the woman had dedicated herself “to essentially working in the home, which meant looking after the home and the family and all that involves”.
The conditions of their marriage also meant that she did not have access to the wealth acquired during the marriage.
Legal papers showed what she would have earned annually over the course of 25 years.