Women less happy than men during COVID-19 pandemic due to larger share of household chores, says study
(ANI) Women, especially mothers, spent more time on tasks such as childcare and household chores than men during the COVID-19 pandemic according to the results of a recent study.
In turn, the research, published in the journal PNAS, found that time spent completing household chores was linked to lower well-being and decreased happiness.
Using samples from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Brazil, and Spain, the researchers found consistent gender differences in time spent on necessities.
These gender differences were stronger for parents. To the extent that women spent more time on chores than men, they reported lower happiness.
“These data represent one of the most rigorous investigations of gender differences in time use during the forced lockdowns created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and point toward individual differences that should be considered when designing policies now and post-COVID-19,” the researchers said.
The study noted that spending time on active leisure activities such as socializing or exercising can promote happiness. However, certain groups in society, primarily low-income women, tend to spend most of their time on necessities (for example household chores and caretaking responsibilities), leaving them "time-poor" and with little time for leisure activities.
Recent estimates from the Gallup organization suggested that the average number of days that people around the world have worked from home has more than doubled during the pandemic.
This has likely resulted in many households having both household members working from home which should, in theory, equalize or at least reduce the gender gap in time spent on necessities between mothers and fathers.