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Friday, 6 July, 2001, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Women still do most housework
Couple in kitchen
Women spend about 18.5 hours a week on chores
By Sarah Toyne, BBC News Online personal finance reporter

More women may be working and have less time for housework, but they are still doing the lion's share of household chores, according to a new study.

Research from Oxford University reveals that working has only a minimal impact on the amount time a woman devotes to work around the house.


Women are still doing the lion's share or three quarters of housework at home - even though they are working. They have two burdens

Man-yee Kan
Women in full-time employment spend nearly 12 hours on housework and share about 65% of household chores at home.

Men, however, spend between 5 and 7 hours a week dusting and cleaning.

Simply working full-time will lead to only a minor redistribution of housework - 1.8 minutes less for each extra hour spent at paid work for men, and 5.2 minutes less for women.

Income vs workload

Bigger reductions, however, arise when the female partner has a high income.

Every 10,000 increase in the woman's annual salary reduces her weekly housework time by 1.8 hours.

Woman cleaning clock
High salaries reduce the amount of time women spend on housework
But the man's income does not have any effect on how much contribution he makes to housework or affect his partner's significantly.

Man-yee Kan, who undertook the research, spoke to BBC News Online about the findings.

She said: "These results match those of previous years. Women are still doing the lion's share or three quarters of housework at home - even though they are working. They have two burdens."

Having a degree can help, though.

According to Kan, having higher educational qualifications can lead to more "egalitarian households".

Better off?

This is because men who have a first degree do more housework - if their partner is educated to the same standard.

Whether you are married or are "living together" could have an impact on the amount of time you spend on housework.

Women who co-habit spend 13.2 hours a week on chores compared to 19.2 hours for married women.

However, men who co-habit spend more time on housework than men who have tied the knot.

They spend 6.1 hours on housework a week compared to only 5.5 hours if they had walked up the aisle.

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See also:

07 Jun 01 | Health
Cuddles 'more important than sex'
16 May 01 | Education
Educating couples about marriage
08 Jun 00 | Health
Women: 'Underpaid and overworked'
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