2021 Marriage and Parenthood Survey


The Prime Minister’s Office yesterday released the findings of its 2021 Marriage and Parenthood Survey. 

The data shows that there remains room for mindset change on gender roles within the home, and that the daily struggle of balancing work and family responsibilities remains a very real one.

Singaporean couples want to have more babies and 99% of the married respondents to this nation-wide survey feel that both parents have an equal part to play in raising their kids. 95% believe both parents should share the responsibilities of the home equally. This is a great start to achieving equality for women in the home.

However, the challenges of family-building continue to be stressors – from managing family and work demands, to the expense of raising children. 64% of married respondents cited financial costs as one of their top 3 reasons for not having (more) children. Single respondents expressed similar sentiments. Married respondents also overwhelmingly indicated that flexible work arrangements (“FWAs”) are an attractive option to balancing childcare and work; 92% were more likely to join an organisation with FWAs.

There also remains a disconnect between the sexes on gender roles. Married women still do more in the home than their spouses, and while a lot of men (72%) are comfortable with the division of household chores, only 59% of women are satisfied with this.

Clearly Singapore still has work to do. As a start, we need to shift mindsets. Both sexes believe that parenting and household work should be equally divided. However, women still think that they’re doing too much of the work, while many of their husbands do not see this.

Surveys like these help society to understand mindsets. This is a good first step towards understanding where we are as a society, and progressing towards a fairer and more equal society where families can thrive and women can flourish, both in the workplace and at home.

SHE believes in the importance of using data to drive mindset change. We will regularly launch such surveys to raise awareness of and overcome stereotypes that may be holding women back from achieving their best potential. Working together with the community and stakeholders in this way, we can achieve a Singapore that is fair and equal for both women and men.