Food, cleaning, washing, ironing, child care… The burden of working women who had to take care of all these things outside of working hours increased with the pandemic.
Although the practice of working from home during the closing period saves time spent on the way to work, the increase in the number of meals eaten at home brought the overtime in the kitchen and the burden of organization. Not to mention the difficulty of helping home-school children with their schoolwork and concentrating on their work.
According to the research of the German Bertelsmann Foundation, despite the increase in the work undertaken by men in pandemic conditions, the real burden was on the shoulders of women. While 69 percent of the women who participated in the survey stated that they undertook the general housework themselves, this rate was 11 percent for men. A similar picture emerged in childcare and helping with homework. 51 percent of women and only 15 percent of men stated that they undertook these jobs.
MEN FIND THE DISTRIBUTION FAIR
An interesting result of the study is that 66 percent of men think that the division of labor in childcare and housework is fairly shared, although women know that most of these jobs are undertaken by women. Women’s responses, on the other hand, reveal a different picture. Two-thirds of the women state that they do the grocery shopping themselves. The gap in cooking is even wider. 62 percent of women and only 14 percent of men report that they undertake food preparation.
While 43 percent of the women who participated in the survey stated that working together with the family is harder than before the pandemic, almost half say that it is based on physical, psychological and emotional boundaries in pandemic conditions. This rate is 30 percent for men.
“THE INEQUALITIES THAT ALREADY EXISTED BECOME MORE VISIBLE”
So, is the pandemic damaging the gains in gender equality and causing a return to old roles? Heike Ohlbrecht, professor of sociology at Magdeburg University, pointed out that the classical role distribution was predominant in families before the pandemic, saying “Perhaps the corona crisis made the already existing inequalities more visible.”
Barbara von Würzen of the Bertelsmann Foundation points out that half of the women surveyed think that the burden was not evenly distributed before the pandemic. Stating that women who lost significant support with the closure of kindergartens and the transition of schools to distance education, von Würzen stated that the job falls to the head, “Therefore, rather than causing a return to traditional roles, the pandemic reveals that the traditional distribution of roles between men and women in Germany is almost unchanged. “he speaks.
Sociologist Ohlbrecht also states that traditional roles are quite common in German society and says “When both men and women work from home, it is usually the woman who cooks the food.” Prof. Ohlbrecht also points out that women generally work in lower paid jobs than men and that it is up to women to reduce their working hours when necessary. In other words, the economic damage of the business is also seen by women.
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