Japanese women do 79.8 per cent of housework, child-rearing: Poll

Japanese women do 79.8 per cent of housework, child-rearing: Poll

Married Japanese women feel they do about 80 per cent of household chores and tasks involved in raising children, according to a recent survey by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

This figure in the 2013 survey was down marginally from the previous such survey conducted in 2008, but indicated that many women still feel they carry a heavier burden than men when it comes to child-rearing and housework. According to the survey, 41.6 per cent of wives are dissatisfied with their husband's lack of involvement.

The survey was based on responses given by 6,409 married women across Japan. It has been conducted every five years since 1993, and this was the fifth such survey.

The women were asked what proportion of the housework and child-rearing was shouldered by them and their spouse. According to the survey, the 991 women aged under 50 whose eldest child was under 12 did 79.8 per cent of these tasks on average, down 0.8 percentage point from the previous survey. This was the first time the figure had dropped below 80 per cent.

When asked what activities their husbands do at least once or twice a week to help raise the children, the most frequently given answers were "playing with them" at 87.5 per cent and "giving them a bath" at 82.1 per cent.

Just 28.4 per cent drop off and pick up their children from day care centers and preschools, the least common answer.

According to the answers received from 3,612 women aged under 60, women did 85.1 per cent of the household chores, down 0.4 percentage point from the previous survey in 2008. Husbands took care of 14.9 per cent of the chores.

Taking out the garbage was the chore most done by men at least once or twice a week, at 40.6 per cent, while 36.6 per cent shopped for groceries this frequently and 33.1 per cent cleared away the dishes after a meal. Only 19.2 per cent-the lowest figure-cleaned up rooms in the house.

Wives aged under 40 were divided into three groups based on the frequency with which their husbands helped with the housework and looked after the children. When these women were asked whether they wanted more children, the proportion who said they "have plans" to add to their family was higher among those with more cooperative husbands.

The 2013 survey results were announced Friday.

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