Men Avoid Household Duties Equality

According to data released in late July by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women do 63 percent of household work. While women dedicate an average of almost 16 hours per week to household tasks such as cleaning and preparing food, men’s contributions add up to less than ten hours weekly. The data comes from a survey of 13,000 American men and women over the age of 15, who quantified time spent on various activities over an average day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has conducted the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) annually for the past three years, and its statistics show men’s and women’s time spent on housework have fluctuated very little over this period. Similar studies administered periodically since 1968 by The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research illuminate longer-term time use trends. Their findings show a dramatic increase in men’s contribution to housework from 1968 to 1985, from 4.4 weekly hours to 10.2, with women’s time allotment declining more than 50 percent over the same period, from 31.9 hours down to 20.4. Since 1985, however, progress toward gender equality in domestic work has stalled, according to the time use studies, which show a 20-year plateau that continues with the recent ATUS findings. If women are to climb the corporate ladder, they need the support of men with household duties if they are to be able to truly focus on their careers without feeling guilty of not fulfilling their “obligations” as women. One has to occur for the other to take place.
Excerpted from: Study Shows Men Still Shirk Household Duties, Feminist Daily News Wire, 7 August 2006