When we start seeing equal in domestic chores, only then will we #ShareTheLoad

In spite of raging debates around gender inequality and steps taken to prevent it, women continue to face inequality at home, especially in household chores. While we are all seeing progress, there is still a long way to go to achieve equality.
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Men are a little unusual. They have the ability and the will to perform daily chores when they’re staying alone, but the moment they feel a woman’s presence in the house, most of them give up and expect her to manage them.

Many people still believe that household chores are women’s work. Even though there has been a great deal of discussion around gender equality, there are several societies where women are still not considered equals in the household.

And this is exactly what Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad campaign has been trying to address for the last few years, urging men to play an equal role in sharing household chores with women. It aims to reverse the trend by raising questions on stereotypical expectations, and looks to achieve total equality within the household.

Decoding domestic inequality

According to a third-party survey conducted by Toluna, 7 out 10 women said that their respective partners helped with the chores initially during the lockdown period, but eventually stopped.

But the inequality doesn’t stop at the distribution of chores either and ends up taking shape in many small but important signs. 77 percent of the women respondents felt that they had to change their schedule to fit what their husbands wanted to do. This scenario begs for a bigger question: why do only women have to compromise their time to fit their husbands’ schedules? Isn’t their time equally valuable?

According to the same survey, 73 percent of the men agreed that they performed household chores when they were living with other men or roommates. 60 percent of men further stated that if they were living with their flatmates instead of their partner, they would have to do more household chores. And this is exactly where the problem lies.

What changes after marriage? A marriage is supposed to be a union of equals, not one that poses a disproportionate load on the woman to do household chores. If men are used to doing chores when they’re taking care of themselves, what stops them from sharing the load after they’re married?

The reason behind this problem lies in another data point that the survey uncovered. 83 percent of the women respondents felt that men don’t see them as equals when it comes to household chores. Even though there’s no guideline that suggests that household chores are supposed to be looked after only by women, this has been the norm for decades.

It is time to challenge these outdated norms, and it’s time to talk to men about their share of household chores. We need to be the change that we want to see in the world, and the first step has to be taken by men to ensure that the women in their lives (and homes) do not feel overburdened all the time.

Sharing the load

Over the last seven years, Ariel has been doing its part in striking up conversations about domestic inequality, raising awareness, urging men to take action, and reversing the trend. Celebrities like Rajkummar Rao, Patralekha, and Twinkle Khanna have joined the campaign in the past to voice their concerns surrounding domestic inequality.

If men really see their partners as equals, they need to show it in their actions, and there’s no better way to do this than sharing their tasks and owning responsibilities equally. Once again, chores do not have gender requirements, just a requirement of a feeling of responsibility and ownership.

Check out the video, and see how Ariel is telling a story of domestic inequality, urging men to take up equal ownership of tasks, and doing its best to remove the stain of overburdening women with every household chore under the sun.


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