Today marks International Women’s Day. Established early years of the twentieth century, International Women’s Day is observed on March 8 every year and is intended to celebrate women’s political, economic, and social achievements—and often to draw attention to ongoing gender inequality.
Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a new report on the distribution of household labor in is 34 member states. The report uses time use surveys to determine the amount of household labor (measured in minutes) performed by men and women in each state. The report notes that women perform the majority of unpaid work in all states, though the disparity between men’s and women’s household labor varies by country.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the Scandinavian welfare states—which have a long history of gender equity in politics—have the highest level of gender equity in the distribution of household labor. Men in Norway—the most equal country in the study—perform an average of 180 minutes per day doing housework, while women in Norway perform an average of 210 minutes per day of housework.
Japan has the greatest inequality in the distribution of household labor, with women working an average of 377 minutes per day in the household, compared to just 62 minutes per day performed by men.
To mark International Women’s Day, the OECD has created a website and a quiz highlighting gender equality (or inequality) in countries around the world. It’s an informative quiz and well worth reading.