Research by Mintel suggests that it is still woman that take the main responsibility for household chores in the UK. Their findings show that women are 19% more likely to be doing the cleaning indoors, and in particular cleaning the toilet and doing the laundry.
In their report, The Unfairer Sex Trend, Mintel highlights the fact that gender equality is still yet to fully materialise. This ties in with other household care research from Mintel which demonstrates the greater role that women play in household chores compared with men, including being far more likely to have used hard surface cleaning products in the six months.
With this in mind, Mintel are calling for household brands to help redress the gender balance by promoting a more positive and modern image with regards to household cleaning.
They site Ariel India as an example of a brand which is highlighting the gender inequality when it comes to cleaning. Ariel launched its #ShareTheLoad campaign in 2015 with an advert recognising that while women’s roles in society have changed, their role as the main homemaker continues. Another advert under the campaign ran in March 2016, featuring a father writing a letter to his grown-up daughter after seeing her taking responsibility for doing all the chores in her own home. Within this letter he apologises for the upbringing she has had that has led to her lifestyle, and vows to go home to help his wife around the house.
Normalising Men as Housemakers
Mintel research highlights a number of attitudes that men have towards advertising, such as difficulty in identifying with men in advertising and feeling patronised by portrayals of incompetence by men in the home.
Showing ordinary men as competent housemakers is more likely to help to normalise the role of men in the modern household, as well as encourage at least equal responsibility for household care.
Breaking stereotypes that have been assumed down several generations is the key to removing the female dominance of responsibility for household chores and by targeting younger adults who have yet to have children with gender-equal advertising could help to break down this cycle for generations to come.