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Housework and childcare during the lockdown, tasks undertaken mainly by women

Lídia Farré, Universitat de Barcelona and IAE-CSIC; Libertad González, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE

In April 2020, the authors conducted a survey with more than 7,000 respondents in Spain, focusing on employment and housework before and during the lockdown period. The results of the survey, on which this article is based, show steep drops in employment, of similar magnitude for men and women. Housework, the burden of which already fell mostly on women before the lockdown, continued to be done by them to a disproportionate extent, despite a slight increase in participation by men.
Key points
  • 1
       During the lockdown there were major employment losses, most notably among workers without a university education and in non-essential industries and those not suited to working from home.
  • 2
       The employment rate fell by more than 20 points for both men and women, and by more than 30 points for workers without a university education.
  • 3
       In two-parent families with children, women did most of the housework before the lockdown. During the lockdown the participation of men in these tasks increased very slightly.
  • 4
       In one task alone, shopping, there were major changes: men came to do the shopping more than women.
Distribution of housework during the lockdown, in percentages
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