Equal Care

  Parents with their toddler in front of a preschool, or KiTa, coat rack Copyright: © Olga Murenko

Care work – or care duties – include activities such as housework, bringing up children, and caring for relatives. A large part of this work is provided unpaid - and the majority of it is done by women. All over the world, care work is mainly a women's job, as a study by the International Labour Organization, or ILO for short, proves:

The fact that women bear the main burden of unpaid work has further negative consequences – besides them being overworked: women have no or only limited access to the labor market and therefore earn less money and thus have lower pension entitlements. For men, however, part-time work is the exception. So the gender care gap leads to the gender pay gap and finally to the gender retirement gap. Moreover, a certain social hierarchy goes hand in hand with this: One kind of work is paid and socially valued; the other is performed unpaid in the private sector and remains invisible. This ultimately leads to an unequal distribution of power, codetermination, and participation in our society.

We want to work together with all university members to make it possible for couples to equally share care duties to create equal opportunities for everyone. People must be made more aware of the injustices associated with the unequal distribution of care work because universities and companies benefit when supporting their employees in reconciling work and family life and promoting an egalitarian division of tasks.


RWTH Aachen University Supports Equal Distribution of Care Work

  1. The Family Service Center of the Equal Opportunities Office offers advice on balancing studies/work and family. This is addressed to (expectant) parents employed at RWTH, (expectant) student parents, and University members with caring responsibilities.
  2. The Equal Opportunities Office supports fathers at the university with reconciling family and professional or study responsibilities. Events, campaigns, and awareness-raising activities on the subject of fatherhood are regularly offered at the university as a part of the Väterarbeit at RWTH.
  3. The Equal Opportunity Career Paths project takes up the issue of dividing family and work-life equally as a couple and shows new ways of sharing unpaid care duties and paid work. Students, doctoral candidates, and post-docs are given the opportunity to address this issue, plan their careers, pursue their own ideas and goals, and express these in workshops and coaching sessions. Employees and managers at the university are also informed of alternative forms of work as well as working time models that enable equal career paths.
  4. The Welcome and Dual Career Service of the RWTH supports dual career couples during their new start in Aachen.
  5. Further training and information events that also address work-life balance are also offered for the various target groups at the university in the context of Staff Development at RWTH.
  6. Managers are supported in executing their personnel management responsibilities with guidance from the Golden Rules of Family-Friendly Leadership.
  7. The FAMOS für FAMILIE prize is annually awarded to managers who have already achieved outstanding success in family-friendly personnel management.