SALT LAKE CITY — COVID-19 has transformed everything; especially the way things work in the household. A new study conducted by Boston Consulting Group found working parents are taking on an additional 28 hours a week of household chores and child care during the pandemic.
Boston Consulting Group found before COVID-19 hit, men spent an average of 25 hours a week on household chores and women 35. In a typical household, women are usually doing most of the household tasks.
But during the pandemic, those numbers have changed; while men have begun to pick up more household tasks, the gap in the division of labor has widened.
Pandemic exposes household task inequity, author says
Author Brigid Schulte argues that the pandemic exposed the “grotesque inequality” that exists within many families.
“There’s been a lot of invisible labor that women have done, that people, particularly men — even in the same household — haven’t been aware of or haven’t paid attention to,” she told NPR.
Boston Consulting Group found since schools, daycares and most workplaces have closed, the disparity has grown. Women now report spending a total of 65 hours per week on housework and child care; men report a total of 50.
Schulte believes because people are working from home, it’s impossible to ignore the invisible labor their spouses do. University of Utah sociologist Dan Carson reported men are contributing to more household tasks and child care than they did before.
Though Carlson said this is an ideal situation for men to contribute more in household tasks, it’s not as big as some might have hoped for. Carlson wonders whether men will continue to contribute to household tasks after the pandemic — or work to narrow the gap.