Whose turn is it to clean up?


Deconstruct gender stereotypes associated with household chores and domestic work ;
Show children a model of equal household chores sharing.
Whose turn is it to clean up?

Brief description of the issue

Women today still do a greater part of the household chores (Couturier et Posca, 2014). From early childhood and on, we can notice that some toys marketed for girls, therefore pink and purple and glittering, are directly inspired by household chores: kitchenettes, brooms, vacuum cleaners, etc. In a school setting, we also notice that the teachers ask girls more often than boys to put away material at the end of an activity (SCF, 2011).

To break down gender stereotypes associated with household chores, here is a short activity (approximately 30 min) you can facilitate with your group that will allow students to discuss and reflect on how household chores are shared in their home.

First of all, ask your students to describe which chores they do (or help do) at home. Note their answers on the board, and note the answers given by boys on one side of the board and those given by girls on the other side of the board, without telling the students. Once the two lists are done, ask students if they see a difference between the two lists. Write “boys” and “girls” on the top of each corresponding list and ask them: are the tasks performed by this classroom’s boys the same as the ones performed by girls? Are there tasks only boys can do and other tasks only girls can do? Listen to their answers.

If you see no difference between the two lists, that’s great! Focus on the fact the we should all share the household chores equally, no matter what our gender is.

Then, watch this video with the group:

Let students share their reactions about the video. You can ask the following prompting questions if you want:

  • For those living with a dad, can you tell us about the role he plays in the household chores? Who does what at home?
  • And within the classroom, how are chores shared between your parents?
  • Can boys do the same chores as girls, and vice versa?
  • Why is it important to share chores equally?


COUTURIER, Ève-Lyne et POSCA, Julia (2014). “Tâches domestiques: encore loin d’un partage équitable”, Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques, accessible at: https://cdn.iris-recherche.qc.ca/uploads/publication/file/14-01239-IRIS-Notes-Taches-domestiques_WEB.pdf

SECRÉTARIAT À LA CONDITION FÉMININE (2011). D’égal(e) à égaux: pour la promotion de rapports égalitaires entre filles et garçons dans les services de garde éducatifs, Guide d’accompagnement, Québec: Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine.