News from the future! More men choosing to become homemakers, says Labour Force Survey
This article was originally published in the Global Times, a satirical newspaper from the year 2030 published by EWB Canada. The Global Times shares a positive vision of the future and uses humour and imagination to inform, inspire and motivate people to build a better world for everyone. Learn more and take action through the Hello 2030 campaign at hello2030.ca!
Adam wakes up at 6 a.m. to comfort baby Fahmida, 9 months. His 3-year-old, Max, and 7-year-old, Aisha, are up a short while later and ready for breakfast. “I try to let Roshana sleep a little longer,” he says of his wife of 6 years. “She works such long days at the office.”
Adam is part of a growing wave of men who, after the implementation of the Compensation for Domestic Work Program (CDWP), has chosen to work as a homemaker. The government program launched in January 2028 compensates every household $42.75 an hour for 8 hours of domestic tasks, including childcare, cleaning and cooking. An interesting result of the program is that male participation in the out-of-home work force has dropped 13%, according to the latest Labour Force Survey.
“We have been pushing for this program for decades,” says Jo Rodrigues, Executive Director of the Equal Work Initiative. “Pay for domestic work has been a core feminist issue since the early 1960s. What we didn’t anticipate is that it would finally be enough to make domestic work attractive to a broad base of men.”
Adam is part of a homemaker club for men in Hamilton, Ontario. Salim, who used to work as an actuary, Manuel, a former barrister, and Peter, previously a commercial realtor, all bring their kids to a local coffee shop with an indoor playground 2-3 mornings a week.
“I never would have considered working as a homemaker before the Program [the CDWP], but it allowed me to escape my high-stress career in law and still having a livable income,” says Manuel. “As it turns out, this homemaking stuff is actually really, really hard, but I love it! It’s just more fulfilling to spend my day watching my children discover the world than it was defending corporate criminals.”
Though she welcomes Adam’s newfound interest in domestic work, and is grateful for the additional income through the CDWP, Roshana isn’t always so sure about their arrangement. “I chose to stay in my job because I’m passionate about it and I’m happy someone can stay home with the kids now. I just wish Adam had shown a bit more interest before the job paid 40 bucks an hour.”