Women spend 25+hours a week on housework according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
The study comes hot on the heels of news that, around the world, women do 2.5 times more unpaid work than men. In Australia women do 311 minutes of unpaid care and domestic work per day compared to 172 minutes for men.
Unsurprisingly the latest report also found that 40 per cent of women with preschoolers says that often feel tired or exhausted.
Anne Hollands, director of the Institute of Family Studies, says that becoming a mother represented a massive change in the lives of Australian women – who went from spending about 2 hours a week caring for others, to a whopping 51.
“This is a huge change for women who virtually overnight start wrestling with far greater caring responsibilities than they have ever had to confront before,” she said.
When children start school childcare responsibilities drop off – but women still spent 30 hours a week on household chores.
“Even when their youngest child turns 15, mothers still spend 28 hours on housework – and this doesn’t really change – even in the year after all the children have left home – housework still consumes 25 hours a week,” said AIFS Senior Research Fellow, Dr Jennifer Baxter.
Hollands adds, “It all adds up to a daunting prospect for young mothers today, who may wonder how they are going to shoulder most of the childcare and housework, while at the same time being encouraged to return to the workforce as quickly as possible.
“Apart from being a fairness issue, pressures on mothers may affect the quality of family relationships. It’s time for more equal sharing of domestic chores to be seriously addressed as an economic and social issue affecting all families raising children.”