CHART: This is why the division of household labour between men and women doesn't work

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Australian men think they are carrying about half the load when it comes to household duties.

Women disagree. Men are clearly doing far less.

This is the key finding of a Work and Family Survey conducted by the NAB.

On household duties, men believe they are doing half (about 15 hours). And women say men are doing far less (28% or about 8.6 hours) and that they (women) are bearing most of the load (72% or 22.2 hours).

The perception problem doesn’t stop there.

  • Men believe: They do more time than women when it comes to home maintenance and gardening, about the same driving children around and doing the grocery shopping. They concede they spend less on the laundry, cooking and cleaning.
  • Women believe: They do the majority of individual household duties, except home maintenance and gardening. The most notable difference from a woman’s perspective is the amount of time in the laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking and then cleaning up.

The disconnect seems to occur, as this chart shows, when either men or women are asked to estimate a task they believe they spend more time on.

Notice how men estimate a far smaller amount of time is spent cleaning.

Women (30.8 hours) and men (30 hours) estimate a similar amount of time is being spent in the home on household duties.

However, women estimate that more time is spent on cleaning (6.5 hrs vs 4.8 hrs by men), driving children (2.7 hrs vs 1.9 hrs) and laundry (4 hrs vs 3.4 hrs).

Men estimate more time is spent on gardening (3.9 hrs vs 2.6 hrs women), home maintenance (3.3 hrs vs 2.8 hrs) and grocery shopping (3.2 hrs vs 2.8 hrs).

Although men don’t spend as much time caring for their children, and agree that they don’t, they would like to spend more time with the kids.

More than 60% of men say they would like to spend more time with their children and 46% think they can be just as good primary carers for their children as the mother.

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