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Campaign encourages men to ‘play fair’ when it comes to household chores

17:20 02/12/2021

Perhaps you saw a football jersey hanging in a metro station or bus stop today sporting number 13. It’s not about being unlucky … oh wait, maybe it is. For women, anyway. It turns out that women in Europe do 13 more hours of housework per week than men.

The jerseys and accompanying text – Il est temps d’egaliser, or it’s time to play fair – are alerting the people of Brussels of this fact. The campaign has been launched by feminist organisation ZIJkant and the local chapter of international fair labour organisation FOS.

FOS is concerned about the figure not just because it’s unfair at home – it also hinders a woman’s ability to perform well in her job. “If household tasks are not fairly divided, women do not have the same opportunities at work,” say the organisations in a joint statement.

Fewer promotions, less pay

This unpaid work at home means “there is less time left over for a job,” according to the statement. “Women often then work part time, or they don’t work at all. They miss out on promotions and skip late meetings or training opportunities, and so end up in jobs that pay less and offer little security.” Figures back this up, with women in Europe earning an average 14% less than men.

The campaign is meant to raise awareness of this unequal sharing of household duties, which, say the organisations, includes cleaning, cooking and doing the grocery shopping but also caring for the children.

But what can we do? “Share the load equally, it’s 2021,” say the organisations. They offer some tips for getting started, such as making a list of household duties, including the ‘hidden tasks’ like quick tidying up, planning the week and being the contact person for the school.

Note: We at The Bulletin assume that this campaign meant no offence to Matz Sels, who happens to wear number 13 when he plays with the Red Devils. We’re sure he does his share of the housework, ahem


Written by Lisa Bradshaw