Sexual division of labour
The broom clearly represents the sexual division of labour which characterizes our traditional culture, based on the dualities man/woman, production/reproduction, public space/domestic space. In our imagery, it is linked to the woman and the domestic sphere, but the trade associated with its production and distribution was performed by men.
Tasks being divided by gender is a common occurrence in all cultures. In the early 20th century, men and women had different responsibilities in the propagation of the family. The man was supposed to contribute the ‘product’ of his ‘labour’, while the woman was the ‘breeder’, with obligations around procreation, rearing/bringing up children, food processing and the wellbeing of the household. This does not mean that women did not engage in ‘productive’ activities, especially among the common people of l’Horta. However, in practice, consideration of contributions based on gender was marked by an unequal assignment of value.