Do you think that both women and men are committed equally to protecting the environment?
In theory we might think that regardless of our gender, we all want to live on a safe and secure Earth.
Moreover, we are both actively adopting eco-friendly behaviours that will help us to protect the planet.
By reading this article, you will understand why in reality this it’s not the case, and why women are more engaged.
It’s called the “Eco Gender Gap” because there is a gender disparity when it comes to going green.
“ It’s very sad as much my husband is appalled at all the ecological and human problems as his in actions nothing”
“We are in the same wavelength. Only he doesn’t take care of it… The mental burden is for me. But our ideas and convictions are the same.”
Women take care of the house
This eco gender gap is explained by the gender stereotype because taking care of others, and by extension the planet, is considered to be a women’s duty.
According to senior consumer lifestyle analyst Jack Duckett, women still tend to be in charge of laundry, cleaning, and recycling.
Women carry out roughly 16 hours of household chores per week, compared to 6 hours by men, according to a study in the UK.
The biggest eco gender gap is making eco-friendly detergents: dish soap, laundry…
Women also feel bad for not doing stuff correctly, not doing enough, like taking a break with cloth diapers.
You don’t believe it?
Look around you, observe your family and friends, look how many women are in an organic shop compared to men. How many female vegans and male vegans do you know?
How many eco-friendly female influencers compared to males?
Your observation will show you that women are the ones who make eco-friendly decisions.
But why do we have more men ecologically committed in politics than women?
You may think that we are wrong by reading this article, because the biggest green influencers in politics are men.
Well, it’s true but maybe the reason is that there is no parity in politics between women and men.
And some women or teenage girl, I bet you have guessed who I am talking about! Greta Thunberg, are not perceived the same way…
Men who are concerned about environmental issues are more engaged in public life too.
76% of women said they don’t participate because of a lack of time, since they care for the household.
Rachel Howell, a lecturer in sustainable development from the University of Edinburgh said women have less faith in institutions, technology, and governments to solve problems. That is an other reason why.
Being green it’s too girly for men
It’s also clear that there’s a bigger gap between men and environmental issues, which could be because men think that caring for the environment makes them less masculine.
This feeling is reinforced by advertisements exclusively targeted at women. Companies can use this time to think about what it means to be a man and come up with campaigns that make environmentally-friendly behaviour seem like a modern way to be a man.
Males fear being perceived as homosexual or effeminate when they use a reusable shopping bag or engage in any other environmentally friendly activity. They avoid or even oppose green actions to protect their gender identity.
Just like women who don’t want to be perceived as hippies due to their ecological engagement.
The researches made, confirm that in terms of responsible consumption there is a gender gap within the household even if the couple is equally concerned about ecological issues.
In the private sphere, men remain in a passive position, approving or even sometimes supporting their partner’s approach, but very rarely taking the initiative. They are also unaware of their passivity since for them the initiative is better distributed.
A trend that crosses all households, regardless of age and socio-professional background.
- 2018 Mintel Eco gender gap
- 2016 study by the Journal of Consumer Research
- Ogilvy Earth report
- 2019 study by The sex Roles journal.
About the author: Marianne Fornieles, born in France and lives on Vancouver Island, British Colombia. She is a student in Digital Marketing. She is passionate about the environment, travels and photography. You can see what’s she’s up to on Instagram @marianne_frnls/