Earlier in the month the Sydney Morning Herald showed what the Census revealed about who’s doing the housework in Australian homes. It turns out one in four men marked down that they hadn’t done a single hour of unpaid domestic work in the past week, against 18 per cent of women. So how does the Snowy Valleys compare?
Well, we’re sitting right on the national average. Twenty five per cent of men did no unpaid domestic work in the week leading up to the census, including “all housework, food/drink preparation and clean up, laundry, gardening, home maintenance and repairs, and household shopping and finance management.”
As for the local ladies, 15.5 per cent, or one in six, admitted to the same thing.
“No domestic work” was in fact the most selected option for the gentlemen of the Snowy Valleys, with 22.5 per cent doing less than five hours worth, 23 per cent doing in between 5 and 14 hours, eight per cent undertaking between 15 and 29 hours of chores, and five and a half per cent doing 30 hours or more.
The majority of Snowy Valleys women are doing in between five and 14 hours of unpaid domestic work a week, at 24 per cent. Ten and a half per cent did less than five hours, with 18 and a half per cent doing in between 15 and 29 hours, and 18 per cent doing 30 hours or more.
So, to wrap-up, nearly half of all men are doing less than five hours of housework a week, with less than a sixth doing fifteen hours or more.
On the other hand, over a third of Snowy Valleys women are doing more than fifteen hours of housework a week, and a quarter are doing less than five.
According to analyst Jessica Irvine, however, times are – however slowly – changing.
“The fact remains: when it comes to domestic drudgery, Australia’s women are still picking up the slack,” she said.
“But life is changing. Over the decade that the census has posed this question, an ever-increasing proportion of both sexes report doing no unpaid household work.
“Women have, in fact, been ditching housework at an even faster rate than men. In 2006, just 15.4 per cent of women said they did no unpaid domestic work – today that’s climbed to 18.1 per cent.
“And the proportion of women aged 35 to 44 who say they put in more than 30 hours of unpaid work around the home has fallen rapidly from 25.8 per cent to 20.9 per cent.”
Maybe in a few censuses time, we’ll see that ever elusive fifty-fifty finally coming into play.