Society Study: Pandemic hardly changes gender roles
Especially at the beginning of the corona pandemic, more fathers took care of childcare. Photo: Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa/Symbolbild © dpa-infocom GmbH Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, men increasingly concentrated on childcare. A beginning of a long-term change? According to a study, it doesn’t look like that. The Corona crisis has hardly changed the inequality between men and women in employment and childcare. Men were more involved in childcare, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, according to a study by the Nuremberg Institute for Labor Market and Occupational Research (IAB) published on Tuesday. However, mothers continued to do the larger part. The analysis is based, among other things, on online surveys by the IAB on the consequences of Corona on employment. Thereafter, the proportion of mothers who almost completely took over childcare before the pandemic remained almost unchanged in June 2020. It was 64 percent (minus 2 percentage points). The proportion of fathers, on the other hand, doubled to more than 10 percent in the same period. But this happened mainly in households where women worked more than 20 hours outside the home and had no opportunity to work from home. In the other families (around 25 percent), mothers and fathers shared the tasks.
Fathers less involved in childcare
According to the researchers, as the pandemic progressed, fathers’ greater involvement in childcare decreased again. “The trend will continue in 2021,” said co-author Claudia Globisch. The first figures for the second lockdown in January and February 2021 showed that fathers again took on a little more in childcare, but less than in the first lockdown, and after the second lockdown the greater participation also decreased again. This suggests that their commitment was born out of necessity
should be and should recede again with a normalization of the situation, according to the study. The researchers did not find any evidence that the Corona crisis led to a re-traditionalization of gender relations – i.e. that women reduced gainful employment in order to take on more unpaid care work. “So you can’t speak of a step backwards, but also not of progress,” said Globisch. dpa #topics
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