Swiss women continue to shoulder the burden of unpaid work

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Swiss women continue to shoulder the burden of unpaid work
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Men in Switzerland are doing an increasing amount of domestic chores, according to a report from the Federal Statistics Office - but they still lag far behind their female counterparts.


Women and men aged over 15 do almost exactly the same total amount of work each week, including paid work, volunteering, and unpaid domestic work.

The total figures were 46.7 hours for women and 46.8 hours for men - but the breakdowns of how they spent that time varied significantly, according to the 2016 survey from the Swiss Labour Force, published this week.

Since 2010, the amount of time men spend on household tasks has increased, while women are spending slightly more time in paid work, but still shouldering the burden of domestic unpaid work.

The typical Swiss man spends the majority of his time doing paid work (27.3 hours), in addition to 17.9 hours of domestic and family work and 1.6 hours volunteering. That amounts to an extra 1.7 hours on domestic work compared to six years ago, while time in paid work fell by 0.8 hours in the same period.

However, the male contribution to domestic and family tasks remains significantly less than that of Swiss women, who spent a total of 30.1 hours on unpaid work, including an average of two hours volunteering and 28.1 hours on household work.

The time women spent in paid work had risen by one hour since 2010 to 16.6 hours per week, but time spent on domestic tasks had also risen by 1.7 hours over the same period, the same increase as reported among men.

The survey also offered an insight into which tasks were eating into people's time the most, with the most time-consuming domestic task being meal preparation. Women spent 7.1 hours on cooking and preparing food per week, compared to 3.8 hours among men.

Cleaning took 4.5 hours per week for women, more than double the time taken by men (1.9 hours), while women spent 2.3 hours per week on laundry and ironing, compared to 0.6 hours among men.

The only domestic areas to which men devoted more time than women were administrative work (1.5 hours compared to 1.2) and manual labour (1.5 hours compared to 0.9).

The unpaid workload was highest in households where the youngest child was aged under 15. In two-parent households of this kind, women and men's total workload, including paid and unpaid work, was 69.6 and 68.8 hours respectively.

Women in such households typically devoted twice as much time to domestic and family tasks as their male partners. Single mothers of under-15-year-olds meanwhile devoted an average of 46.8 hours to household tasks, in addition to 1.6 hours of volunteer work and 19.7 hours of paid work.

NOW READ: The history of women's rights in Switzerland in 12 fascinating facts



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