Article

How are household chores divided in female breadwinner couples?

Joan Garcia Román, Centre for Demographic Studies (UAB); "la Caixa” Social Observatory Award for the best article in the field of Social Inclusion

The number of couples where only the female partner is in paid employment has increased considerably over recent decades. This type of partnership brings with it a new and infrequent division of gender roles in the household. The woman’s salary represents the sole or the main income, so this should also influence the division of household chores.
Key points
  • 1
       In Spain, the phenomenon of couples where the female is the sole earner is relatively recent, and to a large extent is the consequence of the destruction of employment in male-dominated sectors during the economic recession.
  • 2
       The characteristics of these couples have changed since 2003: today they are younger; they are more likely to have children and to cohabit; also, there are more couples in which the female partner has a higher level of education than the male.
  • 3
       Families where the woman is sole earner are more egalitarian than other types of family. This is reflected in a more equitable division of household chores between men and women.
  • 4
       However, in Spain, there has been no substantial change in the gender gap in the performance of these chores, which still fall mainly to women, even when the woman is the only partner in paid employment.
Gender gap in the time devoted to activities (minutes per day), Spain.
Gender gap in the time devoted to activities (minutes per day), Spain.

The graph shows how the difference of time (in minutes) dedicated to each task according to gender has changed between 2003 and 2010. The figure, therefore, means the value of this difference.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Article

The impact of gender-based violence on sons and daughters: the role of schools according to the pupils

Some 93% of children have heard of gender violence. Their preferential source of information is the school setting but, if faced with a situation of gender-based violence, they are unsure whether it would be the place to find help.

Infodata

PhD qualifications by different branches of knowledge and by sex

While the participation of female PhD holders in Portugal is situated above the EU‑27 average in all fields of knowledge considered, in Spain the participation of female PhD holders is situated below the European average in the fields of art, humanities and social sciences.

Infodata

Population distribution by types of household

In 2019, households were predominantly formed by childless couples (22.7%), versus 12.2% formed by couples with children.

Best practices

Child benefit design: the importance of refundable tax deductions

Child support benefits improve the economic situation of families and appear to be positive for increasing fertility rates. How can they be designed with efficiency?

Review

An intergenerational perspective of the coronavirus crisis and the role of family policies

The covid-19 pandemic has caused a health crisis and an economic one. The two books reviewed here offer complementary perspectives on the role of family policies in times of economic decline.

You may also find interesting

Percentage of people who view themselves as above their parents or grandparents on the social ladder

Infodata

Percentage of people who view themselves as above their parents or grandparents on the social ladder


Social Inclusion

Some 29% of Spaniards have a social position above that of their parents, and over 40% believe they have risen above their grandparents on the social ladder.

Number of generations necessary so that those born in families with low incomes can reach the average level of income in their society

Infodata

Number of generations necessary so that those born in families with low incomes can reach the average level of income in their society


Social Inclusion

In Spain, according to this indicator, it takes four generations to improve the incomes of families with precarious finances.

Fertility rate

Infodata

Fertility rate


Social Inclusion

The fertility rate in Spain is 1.23 children per woman, the second lowest rate among European Union countries.