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

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.

Equality-Driven App Wins Icelandic Startup Competition

An app called Heima, that helps families or housemates manage the “mental load” of housework is the winning idea at this year’s Gulleggið startup competition. Heima (Home in English) was thought up by Sigurlaug Jóhannsdóttir, Birgitta Rún Sveinbjörnsdóttir, and Alma Dóra Ríkharðsdóttir, who wanted to support the struggle for equality in a fun way.

“Studies continue to show that within families, women take on both more chores and more of the mental load involved in managing the household,” Sigurlaug told Iceland Review. “The app asks users a few questions about their home and how they manage it: how large the home is, how much and how often they want to clean, and then it creates a schedule.” Users then earn points for completing chores and can track what percentage of the household duties they are completing.

Alma Dóra and Sigurlaug attended primary school together and reconnected after they both moved to Boston. “We started talking about our shared interest in innovation and equality, and in August Alma pitched this idea to me and we decided to register for Gulleggið.” They got UX designer Birgitta on board to help develop the idea.

More than just a competition, Gulleggið offers workshops, training, and advice to participants over a period of six weeks, at the end of which they present their developed ideas to a panel of startup experts who name ten finalists and one winner. Heima’s first-place win comes with an ISK 1 million ($7,200/€6,100) cash prize, which Sigurlaug says will be used to develop the app further. Though it’s just in its early stages, the team aims to release Heima next year.

Sigurlaug says the trio has gotten lots of positive feedback on their idea. “It’s so good to get confirmation that it’s something that is really needed in the home, that has encouraged us in this process.”

A prototype of the app is available in Icelandic.