By Faten Omar

KUWAIT: Men helping with household chores is an important aspect of creating a balanced and equitable household environment. In the Middle East, home duties have historically been thought of as “women’s work”, yet this viewpoint is out of date and discriminatory. Regardless of established gender roles, both men and women should participate in household duties and obligations. Speaking to Kuwait Times, Omar Daly said a healthy relationship is to share the responsibility with your partner. “It is not a shame for someone to help his wife raise the children, help in chores or prepare milk for the baby.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the best example in his treatment of his family. It is sunnah to help the wife in the housework,” he said. “Aisha bint Abu Bakr (RA) used to tell that the Prophet (PBUH) was at the service of his family, mending shoes, sweeping the house, sewing clothes and milking the sheep, meaning he helped his wives in all their household chores,” Daly added. “No matter how long you’ve been married, it’s important that the division of household chores and responsibilities doesn’t get neglected.

Otherwise, the burden of it all is usually dumped on one person. This cannot be a permanent arrangement because eventually the person doing it all will burn out and stop contributing to the household altogether or live miserably in silence,” Ayman Al-Othman said. “Spouses sharing housework equally shows there is a certain amount of respect in the relationship. Both partners are working nowadays — both should be equally involved in what goes on at home, it is honestly the bare minimum,” he pointed out. On the other hand, some criticized men who share chores, saying such behavior is uncivilized if done in public, and shows a lack of respect for Middle Eastern society.

“As a mother, I feel shame if I let my husband clean or feed the baby. It is the mother’s responsibility and that is what we have learned. But he can help with some housework,” Um Abdullah, a mother of a newborn, said. She added the main role of the man is to cover household expenses, while the role of the woman inside her home is to maintain tranquility for her and her family. Sharing household chores sets a good example for children. Khider Fatafta, a teenager, told Kuwait Times that seeing his father help his mother proves that men are not ‘above’ any household work. “Helping is not something to be ashamed about, but is a cause of happiness for your beloved ones.”

Meanwhile, Saud Khalid said: “The male ego should hold no importance in this context. Helping with chores can strengthen the relationship between partners, as well as their children. It can demonstrate to their loved ones that they are willing to contribute to the household and help support them. Also, it can improve communication and reduce stress for the other partner, while enhancing the sense of self-worth that gives a sense of accomplishment and purpose. But the concept of division of household chores is completely absent in marriages in Kuwait.” Overall, men helping with household chores is a step towards creating a more equal and harmonious home environment, which should be encouraged and celebrated.