Women bear twice the domestic load

New data analysis released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has shown Australian women spend around twice as much time on childcare and household work than men.

The AIFS’ fact sheet, Families Working Together – Getting The Balance Right was released to coincide with National Families Week (15-21 May).

It reveals mothers with children under five years old spend around 41 hours a week on childcare and 32 hours on household work, while fathers spend about 17 hours on childcare and 15 hours on household tasks.

Director of AIFS, Alan Hayes said the factsheet also showed mothers also stepped up their involvement in paid work as their kids got older, from 14 hours a week to 25 hours a week on average when the youngest was aged 5-14 years.
“Despite working more in paid employment, women continued to spend much the same time on household tasks as they had when their children were younger, spending an average of 29 hours a week on household work,” Professor Hayes said.

“Men’s responsibilities remained much the same as their children got older.

“They continued to spend an average of 46 hours a week at work, spending a slightly greater amount of time on household tasks at 17
“Their time spent on childcare declined from 17 hours a week to 11 hours a week.”

Senior Researcher at AISF, Jennifer Baxter said statistical information on time pressures showed that working mothers were more likely to report feeling pressed for time than anyone else.

“Employed women with children were more likely than other women to be rushed or pressed for time, with 62 per cent saying they always or often felt rushed, 32 per cent sometimes and a mere 6 per cent saying they were rarely or never under time pressure,” Dr Baxter said.

She said that despite such time pressures, Australians generally reported being satisfied with their employment flexibility.

“Employed men and women reported quite high levels of satisfaction with the flexibility they had to balance work and non-work commitments,” she said.

“The most satisfied were those who said they could access flexible start and finish times.”

Resource http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/factssheets/2013/familytrends/aft2/index.html

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