In Europe, working women still do most of the housework: study

Working women in Europe are still serving double-duty at home by taking on most of the housework, a large-scale new study finds.

On July 22, the Economic and Social Research Council released new data drawn from 250,000 interviews in 30 countries over the last decade.

Women reported that they often feel that their work is never done, with those working full-time still taking on two-thirds of the housework within heterosexual couples.

Plus there is a downside for men too. While they get to prop their feet up a lot more, they suffer the brunt of conflict within the relationship, the findings showed. Northern European men whose female partners did most of the housework were more likely to experience work-family conflict, compared with men who took on a larger share of the housework.

"Perhaps men in this situation feel guilty for not doing their fair share or perhaps the unequal division of household tasks creates tension between them and their partner?" the researchers posit.

The report finds that Nordic countries have the fairest division of labor, while in southern Europe, it's women who do the most work. In the UK, 70 percent of all housework is done by women and still nearly two-thirds of all housework is done by women even if they work over 30 hours per week. In Greece, over 80 percent of all housework is done by women and for those women working 30 hours or more per week, more than three quarters of them still have responsibility for household chores.

Swedish women seem to have the most helpful partners with only two-thirds of all housework done by women, and this figure improves again if they are working more than 30 hours per week.

jw/kc

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