Sunday 26 October 2014

Irish women do more housework than other Europeans

A woman's work is never done
A woman's work is never done

IRISH women do more housework and spend more time caring for children than most of their European counterparts.

A new Europe-wide study released ahead of International Women's Day tomorrow revealed that Irish women on average spend almost five hours doing unpaid house work and related activities daily, more than double that of men.

However, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study of 26 countries found that Irish women still have 51 fewer leisure minutes per day than men.

It also showed that the average Irishman is still doing more paid work than the average woman, with males working for almost six hours every day, while females work for over three hours.

Irish women compare poorly with the rest of Europe when it comes to their personal care, ranking 20th out of 26 countries on the amount of time spent sleeping, eating, and accessing medical services.

Males here compare favourably in the case of unpaid work, ranking 19th, but they also do poorly in terms of personal care, coming fifth last out of the countries surveyed.

Director of the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) Orla O'Connor said she was "not surprised" at the findings.

Ms O'Connor said that while there has been a "huge increase" in women entering the work force, they are still expected to carry out the majority of household duties.

"When there isn't an even distribution of work between women and men, it really affects women in all aspects of society," she said.

Meanwhile, car and home insurance providers the AA said that "socially constructed gender roles" continue to prevent many women in Ireland and beyond from developing the basic manual skills required to maintain their homes and vehicles.

A spokesperson said they had received only one female applicant for the position of an AA patrol mechanic in the last 15 years.

Irish Independent

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