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Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
UK is 'still a man's world'
Woman washing up
Women do most of the work around the home
Men are still getting a better deal at work and at home despite years of campaigning to promote sexual equality, a new study has found.

Men do much less cooking and housework than women and are still rewarded better in their careers, the study of British men's lives by the office of national statistics suggests.

The gender pay gap is still very much in evidence and men hold more high-powered jobs than women, even though more women are working.

But family life is changing, with less marriage and men no longer always being seen as the primary providers, the Social Focus on Men report notes.

Traditional roles in the home may still exist with women undertaking the bulk of domestic chores

Social Focus on Men study
"In many ways, men today live in a different world from that of their fathers," the report states.

"Family life has become more diverse, with cohabitation increasing and fewer men marrying than in the past."

While most men live in a married couple family household, the average age for a first marriage has risen above 30 for the first time.

Men also appear more reluctant to relinquish their mothers' apron strings.

In 1999-00, 53% of 20- to 24-year-old men in England were still living with their parents, compared with 37% of women of the same age.

And an increasing proportion of men are now living alone.

"This reflects the decline in marriage, the delay in first marrying and the rise in separation and divorce," the report suggests.

Despite the lifestyle changes, the report's authors note that men are still not pulling their weight in the home.

"Traditional roles in the home may still exist with women undertaking the bulk of domestic chores."

Wage gap

Men also still have higher wages despite equal pay legislation, and "outnumber women in management and in many professional occupations".

This is despite evidence that men are now "outperformed by women at many levels of education".

According to the study, the median gross wage for men stands at 247 a week, compared with 119 for women.

The average gross earnings for women peak in their mid-20s at about 180 a week, before falling away to less than 100 a week in their late 50s.

Men, on the other hand, steadily rise in earning potential to an average 350 a week for the ages 35-50.

Male wages do decline after that, but never fall below those of women.

One consolation for women is that they are still outliving men, with a life expectancy of 80 years in 1998 compared to 75 for men.

The BBC's Sangeeta Mhaiskar,
reports on the men's social position

A man's world
Have women lost the battle for equality?
See also:

29 Dec 00 | Business
Employers urged to close pay gap
25 May 00 | UK
'Long delay for equal pay'
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