Thursday 23 February 2017

It's time for a real conversation about sharing housework

Barbara Scully

Published 21/03/2016 | 02:30

Study after study reveals that in households where both partners are working full time, men are still falling far short on doing their fair share. Photo: Getty
Study after study reveals that in households where both partners are working full time, men are still falling far short on doing their fair share. Photo: Getty

Have you seen that wonderful Indian ad entitled "why is laundry only a mother's job?" that's been doing the rounds online recently? In it, an elderly man watches his adult daughter arrive home from work and get straight into housework while taking a work call on her mobile. Her husband is on the sofa with his laptop and watching TV.

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As he watches this scene unfold, the father writes a letter of apology to his daughter for setting her the wrong example. He says: "When I never helped your mom, you learned from what you saw and your husband must have learned the same from his dad." He goes on to apologise on behalf of every dad who set the wrong example.

It's a powerful reminder of that fact that housework is still seen as women's work. Commenting on it, Sheryl Sandberg (CEO of Facebook) said: "This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen - showing how stereotypes hurt all of us and are passed from generation to generation."

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