All Work and No Play

Norwegian Men Do the Most Chores, So Let’s All Move

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France’s Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) just released a set of stats tracking how household chores break down by gender around the world. The overall results — that women do spend significantly more time on what the OECD calls “unpaid work” in every single nation surveyed — were not surprising. Sad and depressing, for sure. But not surprising. Equality may be coming, but we’re not there yet.

But we’re closer in some places than in others, with Norway leading the pack. According to Reuters, Norwegian guys do more housework than men anywhere else, spending 180 minutes a day. To be clear, Norwegian women are still doing more housework — 210 minutes — but the gap is relatively minor, especially when compared with similar numbers from the rest of the world. The gender difference is greatest in Japan, where guys do 62 minutes of chores a day. Japanese women? A full 300.

Obviously, an equal partnership doesn’t necessarily mean each spending exactly 175 minutes (or whatever) on cooking and cleaning and childcare and trying to figure out why the heat doesn’t work. Marriage is complicated. Labor, and how we value it, is also complicated. That said, Norway sounds pretty great. Distribution of labor! Paternity leave! Trees! Let’s move.