The podcast aims to support Canadian couples to have constructive conversations about what is a longstanding family and social problem that has been made much worse during school and childcare closure during the pandemic.
For mother-father co-parents, the unequal burden of childcare and housework shouldered by mothers is a longstanding problem that has been greatly amplified during the pandemic. Since lockdowns have closed schools and childcare centres, mothers have significantly increased their time spent doing childcare, homeschooling, and household management. While fathers have also increased time spent in these tasks, they have not kept up with mothers nor faced the same negative impacts on their labour force participation, careers, mental and physical health and relationship satisfaction.
Despite the long-standing and recently exacerbated imbalance in division of domestic labour, few policies, programs, or social media outlets call on fathers to take a more active role as a way of reducing harmful consequences for mothers.
Father involvement in housework and childcare is not often seen as an issue of women’s equality. In Canada, one of the Sustainable Development Goals promotes greater gender equality. To address this, the research team is working alongside community partner Families Canada to create, distribute, and evaluate a pilot episode of a podcast, It’s About Time!
The podcast will feature the stories of diverse, mother-father co-parents who have used the pandemic as an opportunity to more fairly divide up childcare, household, and homeschooling tasks. Using digital storytelling as a tool for social change, the podcast will highlight division of housework and childcare as a matter of women’s equality. The podcast will be piloted as an online tool for counsellors working with couples and family support workers.