Many fathers have attended bootcamps, talks and courses by community or health organizations to learn about how to better support their spouses, especially in the event of a newborn.
Despite these great efforts, imbalance in the workload among couples is still prevalent. According to a 2017 study by Pew Research, “in 2015, fathers reported spending, on average, seven hours a week on child care and about nine hours a week on household chores in 2015. By comparison, mothers spent an average of about 15 hours a week on child care and 18 hours a week on housework in 2015.” Mothers who work the same amount as the father end up pulling "double shifts" because they are expected to fulfill household/childcare duties as well.
On the one hand, fathers might agree that “supporting their families” means more than earning money, but it often doesn't come through in practice. There's a gap between agreeing with an abstract idea and actually doing something. When you have been conditioned your whole life under a different set of expectations, it can be difficult to shift your thinking to produce a different type of action.
On the other hand, fathers feel they are too busy with work-related worries to significantly participate in childcare and chores.
This imbalance in the workload often leads to negative health effects and higher rates of marriage dissatisfaction / divorce initiated by women (American Sociological Association, 2016).
We would like to contribute to the solution of these issues with a mobile app called “Equalizer”, to be downloaded in the context of a bootcamp, talk or course by community or health organizations where dads learn about how to better support their spouses, especially in the event of a newborn.
The name Equalizer refers to the meaning of the word equalization: “the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components within an electronic signal.”
Once the user downloads Equalizer, he may personalize the app by providing his name (or nickname), his child’s and partner’s names (or nickname) and provides information that will allow a customized experience.
Then, he can decide to choose what area to focus on (Baby Health & Hygiene, Baby Development, Household Chores, Schedules & Communication, and Emotional Support) or to go straight to taking a task from his partner’s hands by swiping left or right. Equalizer praises user’s effort and jabs with humor when they are opting out of too many tasks. Playing with the idea of men not being completely aware of who makes things happen around the house, we refer to that ethereal figure: The elf (who in reality is the woman doing most of the work at home).
At the end of a streak, the user can see cool graphs and data visualizations showing the positive impact these little actions in his life make toward achieving gender equality.