Men’s Participation in Household Chores
English: % of men substantially participating in household chores
French: % d'hommes participant substantiellement aux tâches ménagères
Portuguese: % de homens que participam substancialmente nas tarefas domésticas
Czech: % mužů, kteří se významně podílejí na domácích pracích
What is its purpose?
Women spend much of their time engaged in multiple time and energy-consuming chores, such as collecting water and firewood and processing and preparing food. This high burden often negatively affects their health and nutrition, education, income-generation opportunities, and ability to ensure adequate childcare. This indicator therefore measures the proportion of male partners who substantially participate in a minimum pre-set number of chores.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of women aged 15 - 49 years that live with their husband or partner:
EXAMPLES OF SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Introduction: In the following questions, I would like to ask you how you and your partner divide the main household chores.
Note: The questions below are just examples. Adapt them to the local context, reflecting realistically the tasks that both women and men can do given the environment they live in, the work they have, cultural norms, etc. Several interviews or focus group discussions with your target group members can help you decide which household tasks you should ask about.
Q1: Who in your household usually fetches water?
Q2: Who in your household usually collects firewood?
Q3: Who in your household usually purchases food?
Q4: Who in your household usually prepares food?
Q5: Who in your household usually washes clothes?
Q6: Who in your household usually cleans the house?
Q7: Who in your household usually plays with children?
Q8: Who in your household usually bathes your children?
Q9: Who in your household usually takes care of sick children?
1) The woman does most of the work
2) The work is equally shared between the woman and her husband (or partner)
3) The work is equally shared between the woman and someone other than her husband
4) The work is equally shared between the husband and someone other than his wife
5) The husband does most of the work
6) Someone else does it
7) Household is not involved in this activity
Calculate the indicator’s value in the following way:
1) Decide the minimum proportion of assessed house chores a man must participate in to be considered as "substantially participating in household chores". For example, at least 50% of the chores.
2) A man can be considered "participating" when 1) the task is equally shared between the couple; or when 2) the task is equally shared between the husband and someone other than his wife; or when 3) the husband does most of the work. Using this definition, for each respondent, calculate the number of tasks in which the respondent’s husband (or partner) participates.
3) Count the number of respondents' husbands / partners who participate in the required minimum of house tasks. Be careful - the "required minimum" is always the same in percentages but not in the actual number of tasks. If the household does not need to do a given task (e.g. they do not have any child and therefore do not do any child-related tasks or they have water from a tap and do not need to fetch it), the minimum number of tasks will be lower. This means that whenever the answer to any of the questions is "household is not involved in this activity", the minimum number of tasks a man needs to do will change (e.g. 50% out of 8 tasks, as opposed to 10 tasks).
4) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of men that substantially participate in the minimum number of tasks by the total number of interviewed women. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.
1) In order to ensure that the questions (as well as your intervention) are designed in a culturally-sensitive manner, consider interviewing women (and more progressive men) on which household chores should in their opinion be shared among women and their husbands (and which chores should primarily be done by the husbands). Based on the findings, revise the survey questions accordingly. This approach might be more suitable than automatically assuming that women (and some men) want certain household chores to be equally shared (or done primarily by men).
2) Surveys assessing men’s participation in household chores sometimes require the respondents to say whether the chores are usually done by 1) the woman or 2) her husband/partner or 3) together. However, frequently there are a number of other people helping with household chores (such as children, grandparents, etc.) and ‘forcing’ the respondents to ignore such help and choose one of the three options would not provide accurate data. The answer options were therefore expanded to cover more situations. Such an approach will provide more precise data on the proportion of men that participate in the minimum number of household chores.
3) The survey should be conducted only among women living with their husband or partner (in the case they are not married).
4) If the answer is “someone else does it”, it is recommended that you probe for further details and divide the answers by gender. You can ask:
Q: Who exactly does this work?
1) another person (female) does it
2) another person (male) does it
3) my daughter(s) does it
4) my son(s) does it
5) my son(s) and daughter(s) do it
While this data will not influence the value of your indicator, it will provide useful insights into the division of household chores.