I decided to create the concept of the «Concrete Slab», to give visibility to the “domestic and care gap” that the majority of women who live with a man face in Spain and to raise awareness about the costs that this «Slab» has not only for the women who carry it but also for society as a whole..

The «Concrete Slab» came to light in May 2021 through an article in the newspaper El País titled “Why do they call it a glass ceiling when it is a concrete slab?”. The concept of the «Concrete Slab» has been illustrated, in my opinion, masterfully, by Javi Royo.

Illustration: @JAVIRROYO

According to the results of my latest research “Women and Men, Today. Equality or inequality?”, 63% of couples in which a woman lives with a man in Spain are unbalanced when it comes to carrying out housework and caring for and educating their sons or daughters, if they have them. The good news is that the evolution is favorable compared to the first measurement we made in 2015, in which 70% of women were in this situation.

This means that, today in Spain, almost 5.6 million women carry their own “Concrete Slab”.

These women affirm that they are supporting more than double the family burdens than them, both in housework and in raising children, if they have sons or daughters (they affirm that they are carrying out, on average, 69% of the household tasks and also 69% of the care and education of the children).

But this unbalanced distribution between women and men in carrying out unpaid family work becomes worse if we also take into account the type of tasks in which each member of the couple is most involved. Since, in all tasks, both at home and parenting, that require greater “mental effort” (organizing the house, organizing the children’s lives, taking them to the doctor, attending school meetings…) women are taking charge 70% of the time, or more. This is the famous “mental load” referred to by the feminist movement.

Why is it important to give visibility to this “domestic gap” that so many women endure in relation to the man with whom they live?
  • Firstly, because it has devastating consequences for the health of the women who endure it.

    In a very summary way: since the day has 24 hours, they are left without time for their personal development and leisure. Therefore, they cannot “recharge their batteries”, which over time ends up having an impact on both their physical and emotional health.

  • Secondly, because the degradation of the health of women who endure this “domestic gap” ends up having repercussions on the other areas of their lives.

    They feel very pressured to reconcile their personal and work lives. Therefore, in the medium and long term, they make resignations in their social sphere and often also in the professional sphere, which leads them to place themselves in a more precarious economic situation than that of their partner.

  • Thirdly, because the consequences of this “domestic divide” are not limited to the private sphere of the women who endure it, but end up having repercussions throughout society.

    Social security has a higher cost derived from the greater medication and treatments that require this overload, the birth rate decreases, divorces increase, there are more sick leave…

#STOPConcreteSlab eBook

If you are interested in learning more about how to build an «EQUITABLE COUPLE» relationship, you can download the eBook for free.

Thank you very much for contributing to building a fairer society with women!