Men More Satisfied Than Women with Division of Domestic Labour During Pandemic Skip to content

Men More Satisfied Than Women with Division of Domestic Labour During Pandemic

By Larissa Kyzer

Photo: Dan Warren, Wikimedia Commons 3.0.

New data published by Statistics Iceland finds that Icelandic men are more satisfied with the division of labour in their households than women. The ‘experimental statistics’ are the preliminary results of data collected “on the division of household labour, time spent in carework and household tasks” during the pandemic. Results were analysed by gender, whether the respondents have children in their household, and if the family lives in the capital area or outside of it.

Per the results, 62% of men said that they did their fair share of the housework, versus 49% of women. Only 9% of men reported doing more than their fair share, as compared with 46% of women. Meanwhile, 29% of men said they did less than their fair share, and only 6% of women reported as such. The study was quick to contextualize these responses, however, saying, “Care has to be taken not to confuse fairness and equality in this context. As an example, a couple can divide household work such that one does everything while the other does nothing within the household and this division is considered fair by both parties while not equal.”

Couples in the capital area—independent of whether or not they have children—spend an average of 18.1 hours a week on household work. By comparison, couples outside the capital area (again, not considering whether or not there are children in the home) spend 19.7 hours a week on housework. Childless couples in the capital reported spending the least amount of time on housework, or 15.7 hours a week, whereas couples with children outside of the capital spent the most, or 21.3 hours a week.

In other findings, the study reported that couples were largely in agreement that the burden of household work was much the same as it was before the pandemic, or 76% of women and 80% of men. (15% of men and women agree that the burden of household labour increased after the pandemic.) Opinions on this vary considerably, however, depending on whether the respondents have children: one in four people with children reported an increase in household work versus one in ten respondents who do not have children.

See the full report, in English, here.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!