Spain’s Secretary of State for Equality, Angela Rodriguez, has announced a new free application that will track the extent to which various household members contribute to household chores.
The government hopes this will highlight the unseen “mental load” carried by women in the home.
Rodriguez announced the plans at a meeting of the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in Geneva on Tuesday.
“We’ll soon be unveiling an app that will allow people to log the household chores that different members of the family perform so we can see how many hours of work we each spend on housework and thus reorder the time we spend doing that housework,” Rodriguez told the UN committee on the elimination of discrimination against women, Rodriguez said.
She argued that the app will also help shed light on the invisible jobs that take place within a household. She says that whilst cleaning a kitchen may only take 20 minutes, it can only happen if someone remembers to buy cleaning supplies, or writes a shopping list. She says “We think this is an exercise that could be used at home to share the chores out between sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, or between flatmates or life partners because the division of those tasks is sometimes unequal.”
The app has a reported development budget of €221,750 (approx. BD90,000). It is being released as the equality ministry’s shared responsibilities plan, which entails the launch of various public policies in an attempt to improve gender equality.
This comes after a survey taken in 2022 by Spain’s National Statistics Institute found that 45.9% of women did the majority of household chores whilst only 14.7% of men did the same.
The ministry commented, saying “The challenge lies in designing comprehensive care systems from a gender, intersectional and human rights perspective that promote shared responsibility between men and women, the state, the market, families and the community.”
The application is set to be launched in the summer.