The app that Irene Montero launched to distribute household chores: only 72,000 downloads after costing 211,750 euros and without evaluation of results

The app that Irene Montero launched to distribute household chores: only 72,000 downloads after costing 211,750 euros and without evaluation of results
The app that Irene Montero launched to distribute household chores: only 72,000 downloads after costing 211,750 euros and without evaluation of results

The former Minister of Equality, Irene Montero (Alejandro Martínez Vélez – Europa Press)

The Ministry of Equality, led by Irene Montero, presented the ‘MeToca’ mobile application on September 7, 2023, designed with the aim of promoting the equitable distribution of domestic tasks. The tool allows organize and measure time dedicated to household chores by each member of a family. Nine months after it went live, the number of total downloads is 71,923: 34,216 for Apple and 37,707 for Android.

The data has been offered by the Government after a parliamentary question from the PP deputy Jaime de los Santos, who describes this initiative as “frivolity and sailor joke.” The Executive’s response recalls that “the total cost of the contract in which the creation of the app was included was 211,750 euros (VAT included), a contract whose purpose, in addition to the development of the application, was the creation of a portal website for the ‘Co-Responsible Plan’”, a conciliation policy that began operating in 2021 to work on co-responsibility between the State and families.

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The Ministry of Equality, now in the hands of the PSOE, points out that it has not allocated any specific additional budget for the maintenance of the app. The most striking thing about the information provided to the popular parliamentarian is that Equality recognizes that, “To date, no systematic evaluation of user reviews has been carried out.”, which means that to date it has not been analyzed whether this app is being liked by the users who have downloaded it. The app has a strikingly low rating: 1.6 on Android and 1.7 on iOS, with 1 being the worst possible score and 5 being the best.

There is also no tracking of who unsubscribes from the app after its installation. “The data provided by users is exclusively for private use and is not used to complement the data generated by public surveys. The objective of the app is to serve as a reflection tool about the distribution of tasks and, therefore, about the distribution and uses of time”, concludes Equality.

The then Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, explained when she presented the app that “when we think about care, we believe that where we should focus is on the redistribution of time and tasks. From feminism we have learned that Collaborating allows us to move forward. ‘It’s my turn’ aims precisely that, that through collaboration we can distribute tasks and end inequality in the use of time. Collaborating everything is much better. It is time that the usual tasks do not fall on the same old ones.” Jaime de los Santos, who asked the question to find out what implementation it was having, believes that co-responsibility is not worked with a mobile application and spending money on public campaigns that have no impact on society. Is there really a fight for equality by dividing up household chores? More serious things are needed.” The deputy assures that the PP is working on a co-responsibility law proposal and criticizes that the Government has not convened the Equality Roundtable for five months.

By downloading the application, each user who is part of the same “team” or family unit has the option of incorporating the tasks they perform into the history. There are 30 categories, from “picking up and tidying” or “administrative tasks” to “pet walking,” “cleaning” or “emotional care.” Each task can be assigned a weight (or effort) and the hours it took to complete it.. The system processes the data that is recorded and generates weekly, monthly and annual statistics that show the time used to carry out the tasks and “reveals possible existing inequalities.”

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The statistical data is clear: domestic tasks and unpaid work continue to fall mainly on women. They spend 12.5 hours more each week than men to the care of the home and that of sons and daughters, according to the National Institute of Statistics. What’s more, 92% of those who decide to leave their job to take care of children, the elderly or sick people in the family are women, according to data from the Active Population Survey.

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