Women, if you feel like you’ve been pulling more than your weight around the house, and guys, if you feel like you’re doing lots, too — well, both are actually true, but women are still doing more.
Some gender gaps have been narrowing over the last few decades, according to new statistics, but the bulk of unpaid work still falls to women. Men spend on average 1.9 hours on housework per day, an increase of 24 minutes per day over the past 30 years, according to new data from Statistics Canada. The problem, however, is that women still spend 2.8 hours per day on housework — almost an hour more than men every day.
Every. Damn. Day.
The findings, based on 2015, 2010 and 1986 data of women and men aged 25 to 54, were published today from the final chapter of the seventh edition of Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report.
Even though men have been doing more work around the house than they used to, the type of chores they tend to do still leaves women doing more in general, Statistics Canada noted in the report.
“Gender specialization in housework — that is, women and men performing different household tasks —contributes to the gender gap in time spent on housework, as women tend to do tasks that are routine and repetitive, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, and shopping, while men do tasks that are more episodic, such as taking out the garbage, house and car repairs, mowing the lawn, and gardening,” Statistics Canada said.
Women do more unpaid work, and more combined work in general
And all that time adds up.
In 2015, women spent an average of 3.9 hours per day on unpaid work — 1.5 hours more than men. While women did spend 1.3 fewer hours than men on paid work, they still work more hours than men each day when you combine paid and unpaid work (7.8 hours per day for women, and 7.6 hours per day for men).
Women also spent more time than men on tasks related to child care. In 2010, 76 per cent of women whose youngest child was under age 16 said they performed routine child-care tasks on any given day, compared to 57 per cent of men. They also spend an hour more time on these tasks than men each day, Statistics Canada noted.
Additionally, women spend more time than men on activities related to child engagement and development, the agency said. And women were three times as likely than men to provide care to an adult family member, such as an elderly parent or a friend, on any given day.
“Women provide a disproportionate share of that support relative to men,” Statistics Canada said.
Mom burnout is real
Women now represent nearly half of the Canadian workforce, a 30 per cent increase over the last 40 years, according to Statistics Canada. But previous studies from Statistics Canada have shown that while Canadian men — especially fathers — are taking on more household duties, mothers still spend more time on them.
And four in 10 moms in a recent U.S. study said their lives feel like a “never-ending series of tasks.” That study found that moms who also have paid jobs end up working 98 hours per week (to put that in perspective, there are only 168 hours in a week).
A quarter of working moms say they cry at least once a week.
Last year, a viral comic strip called “You Should’ve Asked” by French artist Emma brought attention to the mental load mothers bear, pointing out that women are often “managers” of household chores, and that planning and organizing is already a full-time job.