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Work or no work, women do more household chores

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Despite more women entering the workforce, it turns out they are still doing more household chores than men, which is limiting their ability to act on an equal footing within the workplace.

According to a study published in the journal Work, Employment and Society, no matter how much more a woman earns or works outside of home, they are still in charge of the bulk of the housework.

Nevertheless, income did make a difference, where men who earned less than their partners did significantly more housework as compared to men who earned more than their partners.

The study via face to face interviews with 36 partnered women and 12 partnered men, and all the interviewees had at least one child under 14 years old. The respondents included a mix of both women and men earning more than their partners.

On average, men whose partners earned more carried out more housework than other men, although women in these partnerships still did more.

Despite coming to a consensus that the housework should be shared, with the exception of one lady who said that her partner does the majority of the housework, all respondents reported that the women were mainly responsible for the housework or that both partners shared the responsibility.

It was also found that low-earning men were more willing to pick up the chores compared to the high-earners, who were more likely to hire domestic help to take up the chores instead.

Dr. Clare Lyonette, a researcher at the Institute for Employment Research, who led the study, wrote, The pressures on women to take responsibility for housework remain considerable, despite the increase in women’s ‘breadwinning’ capacities.”

“However, the pressures of full-time employment, particularly professional and managerial occupations, are incompatible with domestic responsibilities for both men and women. If men continue to work long hours, and many women are effectively forced to work part-time, even those couples who want to share will find it impossible to do so.”

She added that until all men are willing to take on more domestic tasks, while allowing women to take on greater responsibility within the workplace, any hoped-for progress in gender equality is likely to stall at the workplace.

Image: Shutterstock

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