Women Breadwinners Work Even Harder at Home

Women Breadwinners Work Even Harder at Home

This post originally appeared on The Jane Dough.

In recent years, more European women have taken on full-time jobs but, according to new (and unsurprising) research, they continue to be responsible for all the work at home. New data from the European Social Survey shows that a majority of women who work full-time feel that their work is “never done” due to the pressure of household chores.


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This large-scale survey, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), was based on 250,000 interviews performed in over 30 European countries for ten years. The researchers found that most women who are employed full-time are still pulling more weight at home than the men in their families.

Women’s domestic workloads varied between countries. In the U.K., 70 percent of all housework is done by women (and nearly two-thirds is done by women who work more than 30 hours a week). Nordic countries have the most equal distribution of domestic work, with Swedish women who work more than 30 hours per week doing less than two-thirds of the housework. Southern European countries have the least equal distribution of housework: in Greece, for example, over 80 percent of housework is done by women and 75 percent is done by women who work more than 30 hours per week.

The statistics aren’t all that different in the United States: American women are increasingly taking on the role of family breadwinner while also carrying the burden of the housework. Among American families with children under 18, 37 percent of wives now earn more than their husbands, according to Pew Center research. However, 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics data found that women still spend more time on housework than men, totaling over two hours a day.

With the pressure of balancing the increasing demands of career, family and housework, it’s no surprise that women are experiencing higher levels of stress and burnout than ever before. (Good thing women were found to be better at handling stress than men, because we sure do get a lot of it.) Women are more stressed at work than their male colleagues, according to American Psychological Association data, and they also have higher stress levels overall than men.

More From The Jane Dough

How Men and Women Use Flexible Work Policies
Working Mothers and the Fight for a Flexible Schedule
Is The "Endless Workday" Really That Bad?


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