By Angelique Masse-Nguyen, Founder, NOI –
For International Women’s Day month of March, media company NOI, will share a series of articles on Sustainable Vietnam on data they have compiled on what Vietnamese women have told them about beauty; sexual harassment; work; sex; marriage and children; and housework. NOI is platform for shaping new narratives for women in Vietnam.
As women participate more deeply in socio-economic activities, they have less time for housework, but are they doing less?
The 2021 report ” Gender and Labor Market in Vietnam” by the International Labor Organization (ILO) shows that women do twice as long as men do housework, averaging 20.2 hours per week compared with 10.7 hours for men. According to the survey, nearly one in five men do not participate in any household chores.
When we asked our NOI community about housework, more than half said most of it is still done by a female family member only. They also shared that for 64% of them, a woman will be asked to step up if a family member is sick or in need of help. For 38%, family members would equally support; and for 4%, men would step up.
A 2017 US study by Bright Horizons Family Solutions showed that in families where women are the primary income source, they do more housework than their partner, but the situation is never reversed. When women are successful at work, they tend to be in charge of housework and childcare, trying to excel in their “double responsibilities”. As a result, 69% of working women feel mentally stressed, and 52% feel overwhelmed with the amount of housework. We asked our community about the double responsibilities phenomenon.
“There is pressure to do both, and even now, I still can’t balance. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. (If tired, you can leave the house dirty a bit, if you don’t want to cook can eat out), share with your husband, create time for yourself.”
“I hope that if I get married tomorrow, I will find someone that wants an equal partnership. I hope my husband’s family respects each person’s ability and does not expect things because of gender representation. (For example, if I am Doctor and tomorrow open a clinic, the whole family will sympathise when I spend less time doing housework).”
“ I used to be very upset about this. This is a problem, but lately, I’ve been inclined to accept it.”
“ It makes me feel pretty suffocated. However, I am getting used to such unfairness.
I have a lot of pressure to balance the two. I want out of that society. However, I still follow.”
For 91% of the respondents, traditional gender representations are the reason for the housework gap. 69% wish for a fairer division of housework, but still, women feel stuck in the superwoman model, where you must perform at work and keep being the primary housekeeper.
NOI is a new media company committed to telling the stories of Vietnamese women by putting women at the centre of every content they create, celebrate and discover. NOI’s ambition is to be the leading digital media for the new generation of Vietnamese women shaping new narratives and connecting women.
Get access to the complete data, in Vietnamese, by visiting the NOI website.
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