Men work equally hard at home

August 5th, 2010 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 5 (IANS) Women who complain that husbands do not help them in daily household works should think again as a study has suggested that men actually contribute more than their fair share of work around the house.
According to a research by the London School of Economics (LSE), wives who moan they have to juggle a ‘double-shift’ with duties at work and then at home have in fact got it wrong, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

The experts, who took into account paid and unpaid work, as well as voluntary work and care, found that men make much more of a contribution than they are given credit for.

While women tend to cut down on office time or leave work after having children, many men compensate for the lost earnings by working extra hours and overtime, the study found.

Researchers said both men and women work an average of eight hours a day in paid jobs or unpaid duties.

“This data overturns the well-entrenched theory that women work disproportional long hours in jobs and at home in juggling family and work,” Dr Catherine Hakim, a sociologist at the LSE, said.

“Feminists constantly complain that men are not doing their fair share of domestic work. The reality is that most men already do more than their fair share.”

However, couples who have no children, and in which both partners have full-time jobs, are the only group for which women’s overall workload was greater than men’s, the research found.

Justine Roberts, the co-founder of Mumsnet, the online parenting discussion forum, said: “The evidence we have is that working women still pick up the bulk of the domestic responsibilities - the housework, all the stuff like organising the children’s birthday parties and helping them with their homework.”

The study also found that only 14 percent of women in Britain prefer a work-centred lifestyle. It found 69 percent dream of combining work and family life while 17 percent feel the home is the most important part of their lives.

However, government policy fails to take this into account, favouring full-time workers and ignoring unpaid work, Hakim believes.

“One-sided policies that support employment and careers but ignore the productive work done in the family are, in effect, endorsing marketplace values over family values,” she said.

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