Women are still doing the bulk of the housework compared to men, a new study has found
Gender equality has come a long way in the past few years, but as the recent news about gender pay gaps at high-profile organisations like the BBC has reminded us, there is still a long way to go.
One place where improvements could definitely be made with regard to gender equality is housework. According to a new study, women are still doing much more cleaning around the house than men, despite the fact that we are in a supposedly progressive age.
Even at the stage in their lives when women are most likely to have children, they are still doing the vast majority of the housework, the research from scientists based at the University of Alberta in Canada found.
How much more housework are women doing exactly?
The study resulted in the discovery that women do more housework than men at the ages of 25, 32 and 43. These ages were picked as being the times when they may have moved in with a male partner, had children, and then reached middle age.
Overall, the researchers found that it was typically the partner with the lowest income who took care of the bulk of the domestic chores. As we mentioned earlier, many women still earn less than men, while others take career breaks for maternity leave, lowering their earnings, meaning the person left doing the housework is often the female partner.
When children are born around the time that a couple reaches their early thirties, men do get slightly more involved in housework, but the researchers found that this had typically reverted back to (outdated) stereotype by the time people were in their mid-forties.
Rebecca Horne, lead author of the report, commented: “Women consistently perform more housework than men do. Patterns of housework responsibility between men and women tend to be quite consistent at each life stage, despite minor fluctuations in the volume of housework chores.
“Overall, time, money and gender variables seem to be important for explaining the division of household labour, albeit to varying intensities depending on stage in the life course.”
How can housework equality be improved?
Household set-ups can be complicated, so it isn’t always as easy as just assigning an equal amount of chores to each partner to ensure things are fair. With work, childcare responsibilities and other priorities, it’s rare that everything can be split equally down the middle.
Of course, you can sit down together and try to draw up the fairest plan, but if you can’t reach a compromise, it might be better to call in the professionals. Hiring a cleaning company will mean you can both spend more time focusing on your jobs and looking after the kids and gender never has to be an issue when it comes to the housework.
Our professional cleaners will look after the vacuuming, dusting and mopping for you, leaving you with just a few smaller tasks to complete for yourselves, like loading and emptying the dishwasher and doing the laundry. This means you’ll have a much more manageable list of chores to divide out between you, ending any arguments or resentment due to gender expectations.