In 72% of Spanish couples, it is still the wife who takes care of the children, according to a survey conducted by financial services company Edenred in Spain to mark Mother´s Day 2023.
In Spain, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in the month of May. This year today, on Sunday 7 May. Mothers still play the most important role in Spain when it comes to caring for children.
While the study, based on a survey of more than 1,860 working parents, also shows that if children have to be looked after during the working day, both the father and the mother assume equal responsibility (40%). However, in 26% of cases, it is the mother who takes the child to the doctor or looks after the child on a day without school, compared to 10% of fathers.
73% of mothers find it difficult to combine work and family, a higher percentage than that of fathers (64%). The percentage of mothers who fear not meeting all their children’s needs (63%) is also higher than that of fathers (56%). Furthermore, they are called upon to solve difficult situations in 20% of cases.
Progress on equality
‘Although society has made progress on equality, there are still differences between men and women, especially when it comes to caring for children. Organisations should therefore work to improve work-life balance for both genders, especially through flexible working arrangements and the inclusion of social benefits and flexible remuneration policies,’ said Stanislas De Bourgues, CEO of Edenred Spain.
Working parents needs to improve work-life balance are mainly focused on ‘more time’ and ‘flexibility in working hours and location’. These include childcare allowances, more holidays and more flexible working hours.
Before and after childbirth
Asked what they miss most about the period before motherhood, women highlight two things: having more time for themselves and their partner (32%) and more rest (31%), followed by enjoying more free time, including trips, concerts and shows (28%).
The survey also examines the employment situation after the birth of a child. Of Spanish women, 50% keep the same employment situation after giving birth as before motherhood. 25% work fewer hours and 22% have adjusted working hours or asked for an intensive working day – without breaks. Mothers who reduced their working hours did so mainly to be able to personally care for their child (57%).
Moreover, the survey shows that 62% of mothers missed more time from work due to doctor and school appointments; and 93% feel that the four-month maternity leave is insufficient and ask for an extension.
Also read: Spain on of the top of the world for paternity leave equality