“Spanish men will have to learn to change nappies and don washing-up gloves” under a new law requiring men to “‘share domestic responsibilities and the care and attention’ of children and elderly family members.” The law, reports The Guardian, “will become part of the marriage contract at civil wedding ceremonies later this year” and can be used in divorce proceedings. More below, and a poll . . .

“The idea of equality within marriage always stumbles over the problem of work in the house and caring for dependent people,” said Margarita Uría, of the Basque Nationalist party, who was behind what is an amendment to a new divorce law.

“This will be a good way of reminding people what their duties are. It is something feminists have been wanting for a long time.”

Failure to meet the obligations will be taken into consideration by judges when determining the terms of divorces. Men who refuse to do their part may be given less frequent contact with their children.

What’s life like in Spanish households?

Spanish women spend five times longer on housework than their husbands. Even where both have jobs outside the home, Spanish women still do three times as much work in the house.

“It is not just about housework, though. Women also end up doing most of the caring for the elderly,” said Ms Uría.

A study five years ago by Spain’s Centre for Sociological Investigation concluded that fathers spent an average of 13 minutes each day looking after their children.

Only 19% of Spanish men thought it was right for mothers of school age children to have a full-time job. More than a third thought mothers should not work outside the home at all.

P.S. I searched long and hard to find another news story or commentary about this new law, but can only find The Guardian’s article.

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