Men’s Participation in Household Chores
INDICATOR PHRASING: % of men actively involved in household work and child care
What is its purpose?
Women spend much of their time engaged in multiple time- and energy-consuming chores, such as collecting water, processing and preparing food and taking care of their children. This heavy burden often negatively affects their health, education, income-generation opportunities, and ability to ensure adequate childcare. This indicator therefore measures the proportion of male partners who actively participate in household chores and childcare.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Calculate the indicator's value by using the following methodology:
1) Prepare the survey questions asking about the way in which the household tasks are shared between the different household members. Adapt them to the local context to realistically reflect:
A) Which tasks should be shared in the opinion of women and more progressive men and which should be done primarily by women or by men. This approach is more suitable than automatically assuming that women (and some men) want certain household chores to be equally shared (or done primarily by men).
B) The tasks that both women and men have an equal opportunity to do given the environment they live in, the work they have, etc. For example, if most men work during the day and are away from home, you should not include tasks that are usually done during the day. Several interviews or focus group discussions with your target group members can help you identify those household tasks that can realistically be done by both women and men.
EXAMPLES OF SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Introduction: In the following questions, I would like to ask you how you and your partner divide the main household chores.
Q1: Who in your household usually fetches water?
Q2: Who in your household usually collects firewood?
Q3: Who in your household usually purchases food?
Q4: Who in your household usually prepares food?
Q5: Who in your household usually washes clothes?
Q6: Who in your household usually cleans the house?
Q7: Who in your household usually plays with children?
Q8: Who in your household usually bathes your children?
Q9: Who in your household usually takes care of sick children?
1) The woman does most of the work
2) The work is equally shared between the woman and her husband (or partner)
3) The work is equally shared between the woman and someone other than her husband
4) The work is equally shared between the husband and someone other than his wife
5) The husband does most of the work
6) Someone else does it
7) The household is not involved in this activity
2) Collect the required data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of women who live with their husband or partner.
3) For each household, provide:
- 2 points for each chore that is done mostly by the husband / partner
- 1 point for each chore that is done by the husband and someone else (e.g. wife, relative, etc.)
This means, that if you, for example, ask about 9 household chores, the minimum number of points that can be scored is zero (no tasks are done by the husband) and the maximum is 9 x 2 points = 18 (all tasks are done mostly by the husband).
4) For each household, calculate the maximum number of points it could gain. Here you have to be careful. If you, for example, ask about 9 tasks but the household is not involved in three of them (e.g. due to not having any children), the maximum number of points is 6 questions multiplied by 2 points = 12 points (i.e. not 9 x 2 = 18).
5) For each household, divide the number of points it gained (step 2) by the maximum number of points it could gain (step 3). The resulting number is the “participation score”. A score lower than 0.5 means that most work is done by women; a score higher than 0.5 means that most work is done by men.
6) If you have not done so earlier (e.g. during the baseline survey), set the minimum “participation score” a household needs to gain in order for the husband / partner to be considered as “actively involved in household work and childcare”. If the local men are already quite involved in household chores and/or if both women and men work outside of the home, you should go for a higher “participation score” (e.g. at least 0.35). On the other hand, if the majority of men spend most of the days working outside their homes and culturally women are expected to stay home and to take care of the household, it is more appropriate to use a lower“ participation score”. What matters most is that the baseline and endline surveys use the same minimum “participation score” – otherwise their results will not be comparable.
7) Count the number of husbands / partners with a score equal to or higher than the minimum “participation score” – i.e. those that can be considered as “actively involved in household work and childcare”.
8) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of men actively involved in household work and childcare by the total number of respondents. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.
to be added later
1) The survey should be conducted only among women living with their husband or partner (in the case that they are not married).
2) If your resources allow, consider collecting the data from both women and men, so that you can compare their responses and see where the main differences in their perceptions of how they share the household chores. To ensure that the data is sufficiently accurate, you should collect the data using a representative sample of women and a representative sample of men (i.e. two samples; one sample involving both women and men would be acceptable only if you have a very large sample of respondents so that the data is sufficiently accurate).