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Are Ukrainians agree to change stereotypes, by dividing household duties and child care equally? The results of research of KIIS

From September 11 to September 21, 2015 the Kyiv international Institute of sociology (KIIS) at their own expense conducted all-Ukrainian poll of public opinion. 2041 respondents were interviewed by method of personal interview, living in 108 localities, of all regions of Ukraine (except Crimea) on stochastic sample, representative for Ukrainian population at the age of 18 years and older. In Luhansk region a survey was conducted only on the territories controlled by Ukraine, in Donetsk region it was held on the territories which are under control of Ukraine and in Donetsk which is not controlled by Ukraine.

Statistical sampling error (with probability 0.95 and at design-effect of 1.5) does not exceed:

3,3% – for indicators close to 50%,
2,8% – for indicators close to 25%,
2,0% – for indicators close to 10%,
1,4% – for indicators close to 5%.

In those Ukrainian families where the majority of domestic work takes women, only 22% of men are willing to equally divide household duties

In a joint project of the UN Population Fund in Ukraine and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine "Happiness in 4 hands" Kyiv International Institute of Sociology conducted a research, which revealed the disparity in the views of women and men in the distribution of household chores and responsibilities for the care of children. Results are presented for those households where the woman still carries out all or most of the domestic duties.

Almost half (49.3%) of Ukrainian women want fairness in the distribution of housework, on the question "Are you ready to equally divide household duties and child care?" every second woman responded positively. Another 25.9% of women agree to give her husband a small part of household chores and divide child care. The majority of men (56.5%) agree to take on household chores and a bit of worries of care for children. Only less than a quarter (22%) men do not mind to share household duties evenly. But there are only 9.9% of those who agree to "take over most of the household chores and child care".

The distribution of household responsibilities is a litmus test of family relations. The amount and types of domestic work, performed by men and women is one of the most important manifestations of gender roles and features, evaluation of gender equality. Sociologists argue that the main responsibilities for housework and childcare in modern Ukrainian family are borne on the shoulders of women. Almost in 70% of households wife is the main executor of housework.

To change established stereotypes in Ukrainian society, United Nations Population Fund in Ukraine together with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine conducted an information campaign "Happiness in 4 hands." The campaign aims to teach couples to build family relationships on an equal footing, share household duties equally and highlights the importance of the participation of fathers in caring for a small child.

“The main message for us” - says the acting UNFPA Representative in Ukraine Pavlo Zamostyan “is that together much easier. It is the basis for all our instruments through which we reach the target audience. "Happiness in four hands" - this means that using four hands instead of two, you can achieve greater harmony both at home and generally in this life. The idea is to appeal to men and women, to draw their attention to the problem and change their stereotypical behavior in order to achieve happiness and success.”

Commenting on the results of the survey Pavlo Zamostyan underlines its timeliness, because Ukraine is increasingly integrated into the world community, including the European structures. Such studies are also important to the efforts of international organizations and the Ukrainian Society answered the nowadays challenges. According to Mr. Pavlo - in Ukraine is still widespread gender stereotypes that do not give women enough time and do not allow developing in their professional life. Because of this on indicators of involvement of women to the management Ukraine concedes even to such countries as Russia and Moldova. But the first steps to building an equal society have been made. "There have been positive changes - says Mr. Zamostyan - and we have a woman head of the National Bank, Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs - it's a good indicator."

However, the problem remains serious, because, according to the State Statistics Service, almost every second Ukrainian couple divorced. A range of reasons lead to this and one of them is precisely the unequal distribution of household responsibilities. The vast majority of Ukrainian women work equally with men. And returning home, the woman often is unable to relax. As a result, women lose their ambition to professional development. Hence the tensions between spouses, quarrels, and reproof, then - divorce.

Director of the Department of Family and Gender Policy of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, Natalia Fedorovich observes: "In our society, first of all we have to prove the woman herself that she has to fight for their rights, there are mechanisms for this. Association Agreement with the EU - reminds Mrs Fedorovich - contains a separate section concerning non-discrimination, equality between women and men. "

Sociological research also found regional difference of problem. The men who are ready to change the established order and "evenly divide household duties and child care" with their wives are more in eastern Ukraine (33%) than in the West (23.9%), South (22.7%) and Central regions (12%). And those men who do not wish to assume the obligations of household duties in the Western region (8.3%) more than in the South (7.9%) and Central regions (2.5%), but in the east there were none of the stronger sex. For women who are willing to split household and child-rearing duties equally - in the West turned these relatively more (53.6%) than in the South (40.7%) in the Centre (49.8%) and in the Eastern region (51.4%).

"I hope - said Mr. Pavlo - the result of this campaign will be a greater number of men who will be proud that they care for the baby or wash dishes. Because it makes them stronger in the eyes not only of women but also in the eyes of society."


The survey was conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology in September 2015 as part of nationwide research "The thoughts and attitudes of the population of Ukraine (Omnibus)". The survey was conducted in 110 localities in all regions of Ukraine except Crimea. In general, within the survey were conducted 2041 interviews with respondents.

The awareness campaign "Happiness in 4 hands" holds United Nations Population Fund in Ukraine together with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine.

The campaign aims to draw attention to the problems of unequal distribution of family responsibilities, focus on woman carrying considerable amount of unpaid work and to offer men and women a new model of behavior in the family, in particular to share household duties equally and encourage men to use their holiday for care of child.


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