Spanish government wants app to get men to do more housework

by Lorraine Williamson

The Spanish government is launching a free app that allows people to track how much time they spend on household chores. The app aims to raise awareness of inequality in the distribution of household chores and get men to do more housework.  

Distribution is still uneven in most Spanish households. Therefore, the app is part of the Spanish Ministry of Equality’s plan to promote gender equality. Traditionally, after marriage, the woman stayed at home to do the housework and look after the children, while the man worked. But nowadays, many women also work outside the home. Yet they still have to clean the house, cook meals and go to the children’s school. This “invisible mental burden” is one of the complaints from feminism.  

Spain’s Secretary of State for Equality, Ángela Rodríguez, stressed that the aim is to ‘make people aware’ of the need for a ‘more effective distribution’. since men spend much less time on household chores. This is evident from all the studies conducted on the subject.  

Also read: Role distribution in many Spanish families still traditional

Multiple goals 

By tracking how much time each family member spends doing housework, it creates ‘communication opportunities around co-responsibility’ within relationships. The app makes the burdens associated with care at home more visible. This improves ‘the social value and relevance’ assigned to these tasks. 

Cogesa Expats

Cost amounts to over €200,000

The app will be launched this summer and the contract with the company Wairbut, which is developing it, cost €211,750. ‘The app is very similar to those used to measure the distribution of travel expenses,’ Rodríguez explained. Among the chores that can be found are cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and childcare. The app is an easy way to divide household chores among family members, housemates – including children – or life partners.  

The app works with ‘time balances’ 

According to the contract with the company responsible for the software, the app calculates the time a person spends on housework. The app also compiles weekly and monthly statistics that ‘reveal possible inequalities’.  

Critical noises 

However, not everyone is happy with the arrival of the app. Rodríguez waved away the criticism. On Twitter, she wrote that some people are unaware of their privileges, and fear they will have to do their bit in the household. 

Also read: Spain in the world top for parental leave equality

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