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IKEA sparks conversation about gender roles at home with new online game

The FiftyFifty campaign helps us re-evaluate and reset our individual domestic responsibilities

MUMBAI: This women’s Day, Ikea wants to help make our homes more gender-equal. To this end the Swedish furniture giant has launched a fun game designed for couples to assess how well tasks are shared between them in a household. Recent research on the side-effects of Covid19 indicates that the load of additional household work during the pandemic is unevenly carried by women.

As a home furnishing brand, Ikea has always focused on creating a better everyday life at home through good quality, affordable furniture. However, the company believes that a better every day is also an equal every day, and that gender equality at home is a crucial part in creating gender equality in society. But the pandemic induced lockdown this past year has brought to light the increasingly unequal division of household work. And this is where Ingka Group would like to help.

With women still taking on the biggest load of work - doing up to three times more unpaid care and domestic work than men globally according to OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment Gender Policy Paper)- Ingka Group has come up with an online game to help couples open an honest and fun conversation about how to better balance responsibilities on the domestic front.

Ikea India country people & culture manager Parineeta Cecil Lakra elaborates, “Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of what we do. Our goal is to create an inclusive workplace where everyone is valued for their unique contribution. Over the past years, addressing gender equality has been a priority - not only at the workplace but also at home. During the past year due to the Covid19 pandemic, most of us have started working from home and continue to do so. It has now become even more important than ever before that there be equality at the home front. Lack of equality at home has direct implications for women’s economic position and undermines their potential. The impact of the pandemic has amplified existing gender inequalities, and empowering women in their homes has never been more important. Through FiftyFifty, we are reaching one step closer to encourage open and honest conversations at home. We believe greater equality at home means greater equality in the larger society.”

Developed in collaboration with relationship expert Jennie Miller, FiftyFifty is available for free via Ikea Instagram Stories across 31 countries. Over the course of a handful of questions, the game takes couples on a journey to unpack the roles and dynamics in their homes in a positive way. The intention is that both players become winners, as couples are inspired to think of solutions that suit their individual circumstances.

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