At home, animals are still a women’s affair

Buying daily products for animals, taking care of veterinary appointments, changing the litter or taking them for walks… ifop published today the results of a study on the sharing of tasks related to animals in the within the hearth. First research carried out on the subject, the result was expected and is clearly worrying: 81% of the women who answered the online questionnaire believe that they take charge of the majority of tasks related to animals within the common household.

Gender stereotypes at the root of the evils

In particular, 64% of the women surveyed said they buy everyday products for animals themselves (kibbles, treats, toys, etc.); and 59% of them pay for veterinary appointments and care more than their spouse. “Even if the choice of a pet is often a collective decision, it is ultimately the woman who most often assumes responsibility for it because it is to her that gender stereotypes assign the responsibility for the good housekeeping”, notes François Kraus, director of the Gender/Sexuality division at the IFOP.

And precisely, the “good keeping of the house” still confines women today to a role of housewife which is slow to disappear, according to a study by Insee (2015): if in 1985 women took care of 69% of domestic tasks and 80% of parental tasks, the figures have decreased very little in 25 years, dropping to 64% and 71% respectively. It must be said that the confinements linked to the pandemic have not helped anything, whether in terms of sharing domestic chores or children. For a telling example, INSEE revealed in a May 2020 study that 54% of mothers took care of children for more than 4 hours a day, compared to only 38% of fathers.

Work, laundry, cooking, children, pets… The weight that a woman must bear on a daily basis in the management of a common life has a name: the mental load.

“It’s a matter of training! »

On Facebook, a private group of 3,000 female members is specially dedicated to it. A place of sharing which also serves as an outlet, in which women support each other in their difficulties to manage their mental load. It is a “work of management, organization and planning which is at the same time intangible, unavoidable and constant, and which aims to satisfy everyone’s needs and the smooth running of the residence”, d ‘after researcher Nicole Brais (Laval University, Quebec).

For Lucie, 38, “it’s a question of training”. This lawyer in a relationship for 6 years and owner of a dog lives in an apartment in the capital. She laughs when we talk to her about sharing household chores. “Actually, I have two days. The one at work in my office, and then the one at home, she believes. My partner is happy to take care of the housework and walk the dog, but the problem is that I have to ask him to do it. Basically, I constantly have to plan everything without any initiative on his part, ”she laments, often admitting to walking Pako while making work calls.

Christine, 47, even uses two diary applications on her mobile phone so as not to be “dropped by the situation”. On the one hand, she writes her professional requirements, and on the other what must be done at home by her spouse or herself. “We have three children, two dogs and a cat. It’s a joyful mess, ”jokes the resident of Sartrouville (Yvelines). Especially since the dog suffers from a well-known problem of large canines, hip dysplasia, which requires close veterinary supervision. “My husband has decided to take care of the maintenance of the house and the garden, while I have to take care of everything else, so the cleaning, the cooking, the children and the animals”.

A click and a phone call for a little help

Ladies (and gentlemen all the same), know that if you are overwhelmed by your animals or if you simply don’t have time to take care of them tonight, it is now just a click away on the Internet to find your saviour, the Pet sitter. He takes care of the animals at the owners’ home, or takes them out for a walk. In theory, it is a professional with the Attestation of Knowledge for Pets of Domestic Species (ACACED) in his pocket. In practice, anyone can offer this kind of service on the Internet – so be careful to favor trained pet sitters. Among them, the dog sitters are particularly popular. Count between 10 and 15€ per hour for a classic walk and around 25 euros for a more specific walk like in the forest. Or if not, you can also ask your spouse to take initiatives, you never know!

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