A new "no shit" study by Cambridge University states that women who work outside the home still do the bulk of the household chores. Men may spend longer at the office, but women work more, if you count domestic chores and paid employment. British men, for example, work an average of 55 hours a week, which includes 3.6 hours of commuting and 8 hours of domestic work like cleaning, cooking and child care. But women in the UK work an average of 68 hours a week; including 40 hours at the office, 3.3 hours commuting and 23 hours of domestic work. And the study finds that even women with part-time jobs put in more hours than men in part-time jobs. Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that results from the same study show that childcare traps women in lower-paying jobs.
A "lifestyle divide", in which women take on the burden of domestic duties, creates a vicious circle as they are then less able to work the long hours needed to win top jobs. They then earn less and are reinforced as responsible for household tasks, says the Europe-wide research.
Is it any wonder that more and more women are "waiting" to have children? Which, as Lynn Harris pointed out on Salon earlier this week, is not a fair description of the complicated decision-making process involved in having kids these days.
Ms. Harris commented on an L.A. Times article ("Moms Over 40 A Risky Trend," by Mary Engel), writing: "This story (along with others like it) also misses a broader cultural point. 'Their 40s just seemed to sneak up on them,' Engel writes. Right. But doesn't that happen to lots of us these days — especially as our 20s have become the time to NOT settle down? Isn't everything happening later, including old age?... Every decade is 'the new' previous decade."
What are we supposed to do in a world where women can dream of "having it all" and instead find themselves doing it all?
Career Women Work Longer Hours Than Men [Telegraph]
Childcare Locks Women Into Lower-Paid Jobs [Guardian]
"Their 40s Just Seemed To Sneak Up On Them" [Salon]
Related: Moms Over 40 A Risky Trend [LA Times]