Gulf News published a report recently that stated that at the rate we are at now, it will be another 75 years before men in the US do half the work at home. We asked readers to share their experiences and thoughts on the issue
Help each other with housework
I’ve seen it at a friend’s house. Her mUm would ask her to serve dinner while her brother and father would be sitting at the dinner table getting served by her. They’d enjoy a lovely meal and he wouldn’t even lift a glass let alone help her clean up.
Now this might seem harmless, but this and many other daily routines are practices of many homes. And I believe such daily routine acts, like this one, in our childhood lead to the development of gender roles, gender stereotypes and therefore, entitlement to women’s labour. These concepts are taught to us from a very young age, some consciously and others not so much. This makes up our mindset and this is what makes us the partners and parents we end up to be.
So let’s start from where it begins: our homes. Let’s teach our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to share the burden and help each other. So when they go out there this toxic cycle of gender roles is broken.
From Ms Rujman Ishtiaq
Social media community manager based in Dubai
Women might fear asking their spouses for help
Male resistance and entitlement for women to assume domestic responsibility and female bias towards poor male capacity and quality in fulfilling domestic or child care tasks are the reasons cited by research for men failing to assume equal responsibility for housework.
As a therapist working with couples and adults I would add the following factors and acknowledge that relationship qualities such as capacity for vulnerability, emotional intimacy, togetherness and compassion also plays a significant role in how this gender bias occurs.
Women have centuries of influence conditioning them to believe that not only is housework and childcare their responsibility, it is their true calling and innate skill set. Many women operate on automatic pilot and fulfill these obligations believing that they are somehow failing their gender role and letting their dependents down if they don’t carry the burden.
Women may also be inhibited in disclosing that they need more support to their husbands, not wanting to tarnish their image as a family superhero also perhaps in fear of rejection and being responsible for raising the volume on marital conflict based on support and togetherness.
From Dr Tara Wyne
Clinical psychologist based in Dubai
Contribute towards the home
The couple needs to decide what works for them
I have experience in this matter as I have been part of marital life for more than three decades. I have also been a working woman and homemaker, plus now I witness the lifestyle of the young generation as a mother-in-law.
In old days, the mindset was different and women, despite working, would be required to manage the housework. The main reason behind was male dominated society but still few could realise that they need to contribute their part towards home chores when their spouses were supporting the house financially.
I remember, my friend’s husband saying to my husband that he was ‘his wife’s servant’ when he offered a glass of water to them when they visited our home.
During my period as a working woman, I could keep balance between working life and making house a sweet home plus good development of our children but it was only possible with the cooperation of my husband.
Now mindset has changed no doubt at a slow rate but with more awareness through media and education, both the partners, especially husbands, have learnt the benefits of contributing their share towards their home.
From Ms Niamat Karmally
Are domestic chores divided equally in your household between spouses?
Have your say
Is it ever possible for domestic chores to be equally divided?