Locking Down Gender Roles? A Time-Use Perspective on Gender Division of Household Labour during the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown in Belgium.

van Tienoven, T.P., J. Minnen, A. Glorieux, I. Laurijssen, P. te Braak, I. Glorieux (2021): Locking Down Gender Roles? A Time-Use Perspective on Gender Division of Household Labour during the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown in Belgium. Journal of Family Issues, [Online First], DOI: 10.1177/0192513X211054463, : 1-27 - TOR 2021/42.

Abstract

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the division of household labour could continue to lock down or start to break gender roles. Using time-use data of n = 473 individuals collected during the lockdown restrictions in Belgium from March to May 2020, we analyse the gendered division of routine and non-routine household labour in absolute time use and relative shares. We compare against the Belgian time-use data of 2013 for the same time period (n = 678 individuals). A time-demanding work and living situation associate with an increase in men’s time spent on household labour during the lockdown but not with a change in women’s time use. The gender gap closes in absolute time but not in relative shares of routine and non-routine household labour. The limited impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gender division of household labour indicates a temporal rather than a substantial change in gender roles.