Leny Chuquimia / La Paz
Housework “yes they belong to men”, however, they still dedicate almost half the time to them as women. In Bolivia, women spend seven hours a day caring for the home, while men spend four hours, a proportion that deprives women of rights on various issues in their development.
UN Women points out that in recent years progress has been seen, but that these are not enough or expected.
“Now it is more common to see men taking their children to school, taking care of them or getting involved in certain housework, but it is not enough, because it is not given as an element of full co-responsibility. Society still does not understand care as a job and responsibility that must be assumed by them, it still sees it as an exclusive task for women, ”said the head of the UN Women office, Nidya Pesántez.
Article 338 of the Political Constitution of the State recognizes the economic value of domestic work as a source of wealth. It establishes that it must be quantified in public accounts. However, there is no data on how much it means in the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The accused of “mandachos”
Housework and care are all the care activities of the members of a family. These unpaid tasks – unfairly – fall only on women.
For this reason, it is not strange to hear that in meetings of friends, family or work, men who are involved in these tasks are called in a mocking and derogatory way: “mandachos”, “mandarins”, little men.
This is one of the issues that the # SíEsDeHombres campaign seeks to influence, within the framework of the global HeForShe movement, aimed at adolescents, youth and adults. It seeks to sensitize them about the urgency of deconstructing gender stereotypes that limit their full development and the exercise of their rights, which in turn prevents the construction of relations of equality and free of violence.
Sensitivity and empathy
“Men and women are sensitive, empathetic and we want the person who lives with us to be well. However, society has taken these characteristics from men and has hidden them from their behavior, as if they were only female, ”said Pesántez.
When a man talks about caring, he focuses on protection and provision and not on active participation, which overloads women with work and leaves him in a position where he even neglects himself.
The way in which these tasks are carried out, in the domestic and non-public sphere, are also those that perpetuate the inequality of roles. Boys and girls who grow up seeing that the responsibility belongs only to women will repeat the stereotype.
But, beware, this does not mean that throughout life you cannot break the chain and dismantle roles and generate new, more equitable relationships.
What do they say? “It is very important to open spaces for dialogue between men, with women and with diversity. It is something that has not been explored, but there are interesting spaces, ”said Gustavo Flores, consulting physician on masculinities.
He was part of the webinar “Stewardship in care and household chores”, organized within the framework of the # SíEsDeHombres campaign. He said that it is very important to see the actions that men have in relation to care, from the religious, cultural, economic, labor perspective or the activity they carry out in their daily lives.
“Working with men has to go with an adequate construction of an agenda, which starts from deep experience and not superficial,” he said.
He added that the world is making progress in involving men in these issues and that in order to enter into these spaces for reflection it is necessary to open the country’s gaze to the outside, but with a decolonizing gaze.
“The space of fatherhood is one of the most beautiful spaces to work on the participation of men. Either in the stage of pregnancy, early development, adolescence, etc., because, in addition, they work in the relationship with their children, “he explained.
He stressed that even men who do not want to be fathers are not exempt from care work. He clarified that the relationship with a couple is also within these tasks.
“It is part of how one participates in caring for the partner and here comes a very important issue, sexual consent. There are many problems in relation to the sexuality of men and women, compulsive sexuality, desire and various things that must be worked on, ”he said.
A positive masculinity
Violence towards them
Bolivia According to data from the Prosecutor’s Office, from January to October 2021, 7,073 complaints related to sexual crimes against girls, adolescents and women were registered, that is, 23 daily cases. Regarding complaints of family or domestic violence, 31,355 cases were presented, 103 per day.
Violence According to the survey on the prevalence of violence carried out by the INE in 2016, for every 100 women, 75 declared having suffered some type of violence by their partner during their relationship, 39% of those who were married or in a common-law union suffered violence psychological and 20.7%, physical.