This month we celebrate International Women’s Day. The theme for this year’s event is #pressforprogress in gender parity.
I actually had to look up what gender parity meant before I wrote this.
Gender parity is not some catchy slogan. It is a statistical measure created by the United Nations International, Educational and Social Organization or UNESCO that compares a particular indicator among women, like average income, to the same indicator among men.
Specifically the GPI measures the extent to which all genders have equal access to opportunities such as education, employment and consideration for either, across the world.
So what does gender parity have to do with home organizing?
According to NAPO, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing specialists, women are three times more likely to assign themselves or be perceived as the one with primary responsibility for home organization.
Women, in general, are more likely to be stressed by the clutter in their homes and more anxious about maintaining organizing systems such as managing mail and paying bills even when the existence of those systems – or lack thereof – affects everyone in the home.
Women are more likely to take on the responsibility as well as the cost (in time and money) of disorganization even if they spend equal time earning income outside of the home.
If they have children, they are twice as likely, than their spouses, to blame themselves or worse, are blamed, for clutter and a lack of order in their homes.
The belief or misconception that women, by virtue of their gender, should automatically know how to be organized has always irked me. I don’t recall learning in my high school biology classes that women have an “organizing” gene. I know I didn’t! Everything I know as a Certified Professional Organizer I learned.
Assigning responsibility or even blame for a home’s organization to “Mom” “Wife” or “Daughter” in a home shared by multiple genders, is like saying the flood in the basement from the heavy rains that damaged the floor is Mom’s fault instead of the absence of a good drainage system.
Now that it’s the 21st century, I think it’s time for this 19th century mindset to change. In the spirit of #pressforprogress I am putting forth these 5 core gender parity statements. I hope you will consider sharing them under the hashtag, #clutterhasnogender
- Clutter at home is gender neutral
- Both genders can be organized or disorganized. Don’t assume women are more or less organized than men.
- Knowing what to keep, sell, donate or toss can be learned by any gender
- Organizing systems and habits can and should be learned, taught or adopted by multiple family members; Men, women and children!
- The responsibility for cleaning, organizing and maintaining one’s home is NOT gender specific
For more information on ways you can support or learn more about International Women’s Day, visit: http://www.internationalwomensday.com