'New man' image takes a battering
Tuesday 21 December 1993
Couples who share these tasks number about 1 per cent, according to the market research organisation Mintel. The 'sharing couple', like the New Man, is a 'shattered' myth. Angela Hughes, market research manager, said: 'Despite more married women going to work, they are still shouldering the bulk of the responsibility for the household tasks.'
One in 10 of these women do all these jobs, make the long-term financial decisions and have a job as well. Mintel has christened these the 'household chiefs'.
Ms Hughes added: 'A decade or two ago the image of this human dynamo coping single-handedly was probably put forward as a glamorous and fun image that women should aspire to. The reality now is quite different: for many 'doing it all' probably equals drudgery rather than glamour.'
However, the picture has to be qualified. First, it is far from clear that such women dislike their lot. Although women are slightly less likely to find their lives as satisfying as men - women's satisfaction peaks between 25 and 54, when they are likely to be raising children, working and being 'household chiefs' - the busiest people appear to be the happiest.
Second, it is unclear what men do with their 'extra' time. Mintel says that men have an extra one to one-and-a-half hours of 'leisure' a day - three hours at weekends. They may do heavier DIY jobs or gardening. However, Peter Ayton, Mintel's research head, said there was evidence that 'quite a high proportion spend a significant time doing absolutely nothing'.
Men also tend to have full-time jobs, possibly with greater career obligations: on average women work part-time. One reason he cannot cook the evening meal, particularly in London and the South-east, where shared cooking is even rarer than the rest of the country, is that he may be commuting home from work.
The Mintel report is partly based on interviews with 1,500 adults. By mid-1993 there were 10.1 million women at work (10.7 million men). Six per cent of the female workforce are unemployed, less than half the level for men. However, almost half are in part-time jobs with few rights and benefits, and even in full-time jobs earn 29 per cent less than men.
The survey found that at least 80 per cent of women always, or mostly, do the cooking, shopping, washing and ironing. Almost half do the household budgeting.
Women 2000; Mintel, 18-19 Long Lane, London EC1A 9HE; pounds 795.
Leading article, page 13
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- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
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Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
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