The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) conducted an online survey to determine the sharing of family and home-related tasks before (February-March 2020) and during (June-July 2021) the pandemic.

According to Público, Portuguese men are more predisposed than the European Union average to spend an hour a day with their children or grandchildren, but if we extend the time period, these are largely exceeded by women.

This survey involved a total of 42,300 people aged between 20 and 64, forming a representative sample of each Member State. One of the first conclusions is that the Covid-19 pandemic has not brought about a significant change in the provision of care. In other words, tasks related to children and older dependents continued to be performed predominantly by women.

In Portugal, 92% of male and 97% of female respondents admitted to spending at least one hour a day taking care of their children or small grandchildren. A result that does not surprise the authors of this study.

"When men and women in the general adult population (with or without children/grandchildren) are asked whether they spend an hour or more every day caring for children, the elderly or people with disabilities, the proportion of men who answer yes is in Portugal 3% higher than the EU average", explained Blandine Mollard, an EIGE expert.

Although so far the numbers have been somewhat similar between men and women, this changes as time goes on. On a weekday, 40% of women and 21% of men with children or grandchildren under the age of 12 spend four or more hours a day caring for them. Portugal and Germany register the greatest disparity (30%). Cyprus, Finland and Malta the lowest: 24%.

"Inequalities persist, with women much more likely to afford high-intensity childcare," adds Blandine Mollard.

If we focus on teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18, the disparity is smaller: 20% of women and 14% of men in the EU say they spend four hours or more.