Women spend an average of three times more time doing routine household chores than their male partners do, and are spending more time doing so, a recent study by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) found.
Last year, females aged 15 to 64 spent an average of 4.41 hours doing uncompensated household work, compared with an average of 3.81 hours per day in 2016, the study found.
Some females surveyed by the ministry do as much as 3.18 hours more housework per day than the average woman in the nation, it showed.
Meanwhile, males living in the same household as the females surveyed did an average of 1.48 hours per day of housework, it found.
The uncompensated work done by women included regular housework (laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc), and caring for underage children and elderly family members, it showed.
On regular housework alone, the average woman spent an average of 2.22 hours per day last year, compared with the 0.73 hours their partners spent on it, the study found.
Chen Jau-hwa (陳瑤華), a professor at Soochow University who studies human rights, said that women are doing more at home than men, despite the modern conveniences brought by improvements in technology.
It is a “structural problem,” Chen said.
“The prevailing attitude in Taiwanese society is still that women should do housework,” she said.
Even though the government had tried to reduce the burden of daycare and elderly care on families through policies and programs, female employees of daycare center and nursing homes outnumber their male counterparts ninefold, the professor said.
“This means that what was considered ‘women’s work’ in the home is now offloaded to women elsewhere,” she said.
The situation represents a serious structural imbalance that would require a change in the overall mindset of society to overcome, she said.
“When men are willing to put more time into housework and watching children, it improves the quality of their marriages,” said Ho Pi-chen (何碧珍), executive director of ECPAT Taiwan, which is part of the worldwide ECPAT network of organizations working to end the sexual exploitation of children
Women would also be more willing to marry if the social tendency was for men to invest more energy into household duties, Ho said.
One woman surnamed Chang (張) said that due to her husband’s work schedule, she took care of all of the household duties, even though she also had a job, which meant she had to sleep less to get the housework done.
She said she hoped her husband would at least take care of his own things, which would reduce the burden on her.
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