Portuguese men who take more care of their children

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) conducted an online survey to determine the distribution of family and home-related responsibilities before (February-March 2020) and during (June-July 2021) the pandemic.

According to Público, Portuguese men are more prone than the European Union average to spend an hour a day with their children or grandchildren, but if we extend the time period, it is well exceeded by women.

This survey involved a total of 42,300 people aged between 20 and 64, representing a representative sample from each Member State. One of the first conclusions is that the Covid-19 pandemic has not brought about a significant change in healthcare delivery. In other words, tasks related to dependent children and elderly people were still mainly performed by women.

In Portugal, 92% of male and 97% of female respondents admitted to spending at least one hour a day caring for their children or small grandchildren. A result that does not surprise the authors of this study.

When men and women in the general adult population (with or without children/grandchildren) are asked whether they spend an hour or more each day caring for children, the elderly or people with disabilities, the percentage of men who answer yes in Portugal 3% higher than the EU average,” explains Blandine Mollard, an EIGE expert.

While the numbers are somewhat similar between men and women so far, this is changing as time goes on. On a weekday, 40% of women and 21% of men with children or grandchildren under the age of 12 spend four or more hours a day caring for them. Portugal and Germany show the greatest inequality (30%). Cyprus, Finland and Malta lowest: 24%.

“Inequalities persist, with women much more likely to pay for intensive childcare,” adds Blandine Mollard.

If we focus on teenagers between 12 and 18, the difference is smaller: 20% of women and 14% of men in the EU say they spend four hours or more.

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