Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Sharing the load? Partners’ relative earnings and the division of domestic labour

an article by Clare Lyonette and Rosemary Crompton (University of Warwick, UK) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 29 Number 1 (February 2015)


One of the most pressing issues contributing to the persistence of gender inequality is the gendered division of domestic labour. Despite their entry into paid employment, women still carry out more domestic work than men, limiting their ability to act on an equal footing within the workplace.

This qualitative research adds to the ongoing debate concerning the reasons for the persistence of the gendered nature of domestic work, by comparing working women who earn more, those who earn around the same and those who earn less than their male partners, as well as examining women’s absolute incomes.

On average, men whose partners earn more than they do carry out more housework than other men, although women in these partnerships still do more.

However, these women actively contest their male partner’s lack of input, simultaneously ‘doing’ and ‘undoing’ gender.

The article also identifies class differences in the ‘sharing’ of domestic work.

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