At home, equality will have to wait until 2015

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The Independent Online

They have come to define her independence - the pill, the right to vote and equal rights at work - but the modern woman will have to wait another 15 years to achieve equality in the home, research suggests.

They have come to define her independence - the pill, the right to vote and equal rights at work - but the modern woman will have to wait another 15 years to achieve equality in the home, research suggests.

A study published today shows that only in 2015 will a truce finally be called between the sexes when it comes to the laundry, cooking and cleaning.

The report, Complicated Lives, by the Future Foundation, shows that among full-time working couples, the burden of domestic chores still fall largely on women.

This year the average working woman will do 90 minutes' cooking and housework every day compared with just 50 minutes for her employed husband or partner.

The researchers predict that the gap between the sexes will be eroded by 2015, when working couples will be scrubbing, dusting and making the dinner for an average of 70 minutes a day, regardless of gender.

Sociologists believe that change is being driven by an increasing number of women entering the workforce, together with flexible working hours, better childcare provision and the increase in single-person households.

Michael Willmott, co-founder of the Future Foundation, said: "It no longer makes sense to rely on traditional roles when dividing up tasks in the home. New roles must be negotiated by every couple depending on individual circumstances."

Researchers, who interviewed nearly 1,000 adults, found that two-thirds of modern men said they did more around the home than their fathers. Nearly three-quarters of women said they did less domestic chores than their mothers.

The number of women working outside the home is now greater than the number of men. The report predicts that this will help to promote an equalisation of status and pay in the workplace, with women's average hourly pay set to equal men's by the year 2035.

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