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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: June 2020

1 - Introduction

from Setting the Stage


This introductory chapter describes how Creating Equality at Home differs from other books/articles on the division of domestic labor. It reviews the major changes in the public sphere that are decreasing the gender gap in legal, political, and social rights favoring men, but documents that in the private sphere of the home, everywhere on earth, on average, women still do a disproportionate share of domestic labor. Nonetheless, the chapter highlights that there are gender resisters today around the world who equally share domestic labor, even in countries that are not friendly to gender equality. Equality in domestic labor is important because it undermines the gender system that disadvantages women, and because it enables the development of key human capacities in both men and women. The chapter introduces the in-depth study of 25 couples in 22 countries around the world. It lays out the organization of each chapter, including the description of couples’ everyday lives, the history of their relationship, and an analysis of the factors that facilitate their equality. It also states the organization of the book, designed to draw attention to the cross-cultural similarities in the creation of equally sharing families.