The Division of Labour Within Households: Men’s Increased Participation?

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research book series (BRIEFSWELLBEING)


Unequal division of domestic labor has been seen as a one of the most commonly documented feature on gender inequality in the western countries. The relevance of studying the division of labour in the household has actualized as female participation rates in paid labour have increased and changes in employment systems have taken place. Division of labor refers to the amount and share of time men and women spend in paid and unpaid work. Unpaid work includes domestic chores such as cleaning, repairs, preparing meals, but also caring for children. Unpaid work is usually divided in three subgroups: core household tasks i.e. housework, repairs and household upkeep and child care. Paid and unpaid work together comprises so-called total work time. The main international trend from 1960s onward has been that men have increased and women decreased their time spend in unpaid work. This convergence has been as result of decrease in women’s, but also increases in men’s time spend in unpaid work.


Gender Household Housework Unpaid work 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Sciences and PhilosophyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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