December 08, 2015 10:27
Korean men do less housework than their counterparts in other parts of the world, even though four in every 10 households in Korea are double-income families.
Korean women spend an average of 227 minutes a day on domestic chores, but Korean men a mere 45 minutes, according to a report by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on Monday. That is only about one-third of the OECD average of 139 minutes and the shortest time for men among the 29 OECD member states surveyed.
Men in Denmark spend 186 minutes on domestic chores, in Norway 184 minutes, in the U.S. 161 minutes and in Sweden 154 minutes, even though all have more dual-income families than Korea. Even men in India spend 52 minutes, in China 91 minutes and in South Africa 92 minutes, although they score poorly for gender equality.
Remarkably, men in dual-income households spend even less time on housework than the overall average at 40 minutes a day, compared to women's 194 minutes. Compared to 10 years ago, men have added a mere eight minutes to their housework, while women's burden has shrunk by 14 minutes.
Statistics Korea data for 2014 show that women tended to prepare meals, do the laundry and clean the house, while husbands and wives shared shopping or childcare duties. Some 66.9 percent of men did traditional manly tasks like changing lightbulbs.
"Data shows that some 47.5 percent of husbands believe they should share the housework with their wives, but only 16.4 percent actually do it," said Hong Seung-ah of the Korean Women's Development Institute. "The younger they are, the more men seem to believe they should share the housework, but action hasn't followed words."
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