Melville women spending more time doing unpaid domestic work than men, says Census

Melville women spending more time doing unpaid domestic work than men, says Census

CENSUS figures show Melville women are spending significantly more hours on unpaid domestic work than their male counterparts.

But a Perth human resources expert says it is not necessarily because men are passing the buck when it comes to helping out at home.

Information gathered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last year and released last week showed women were contributing considerably more hours on home duties each week.

Melville women were also less likely not to help out at home at all.

Curtin Business School Associate Professor Julia Richardson does not believe society has moved as far away from traditional husband-wife roles around the home as some think, but said individual circumstances were worked out by each couple.

“Couples organise how things are going to work,” she said.

“Couples may decide that one person will work and the other will focus on domestic chores.”

Locally, 17,416 men from a labour force of 25,983 are employed full time, with a further 5680 in part-time work.

About 9836 Melville women are employed in full-time work and 11,652 on a part-time basis from a labour force of 24,090.

Prof Richardson said women were doing the same amount of work as men, just less was paid.

“You have to wonder why many women do part-time work,” she said.

“Often it’s to cater for their unpaid work.”

National figures showed women in full-time employment were twice as likely as their male counterparts to do at least 15 hours of unpaid domestic work a week.

It was a similar story for part-time employment.

Prof Richardson said there could be numerous reasons for the gap including the actual number of hours worked at a paid job and the type of roles undertaken at home.

Hours spent on domestic duties each week

Men: no domestic work (8919); less than five hours (12,270); five – 14 (10,876); 15-29 (2832); 30 + (1249)
Women: no domestic work (6467); less than five hours (7579); five – 14 (11,719); 15-29 (7660); 30 + (6455)

Employment

Men: Full-time employment 17,416; part time 5680.
Women: Full-time employment 9836; part time 11,652.

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