Who’s got time for a battle of the sexes?

By admin
29 August 2013

Statistics South Africa compiled its Survey of Time Use report in 2010, and released the data yesterday (28 August 2013).

While it is a bit dated, the survey does provide useful information about what South Africans are doing and the obvious gender disparities present in households.

By breaking down various activities into the minutes spent doing them, one can gain an idea of how time is used by South Africans. Whether employed or not, it’s clear free time is a luxury that’s more likely to be afforded men, while women on the other hand seem to be playing a tough balancing act trying to fit all they need to do into a day.

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the info from the recently released Stats SA survey:

Contributing to the formal economy

Men – 7 hours a day

Women – 5,5 hours a day

As this statistic is an average for South Africa, the disparity is due to the fact that a million more men are formally employed.

Work outside of the office

Of women and men who have jobs, the hours spent on work outside of the office such as housework amounts to:

Women - four hours a day

Men – two hours a day

Of the men and women who are unemployed, again women lead the pack with their daily chores

Women – 5,5 hours a day

Men – 2,5 hours a day

Of the single or divorced people, women are in the lead again with their time contribution to chores

Women – 200 minutes a day

Men – 100 minutes a day

So does anything change when people get married?

The husband's contribution drops to 77 minutes.

Women pick up the slack by having that time and more added to their day.

So what does this mean?

Basically, marriage seems to be a winning game for men and a losing battle for women when it comes to their spare time. Marriage means increased productivity for women, and seemingly more spare time for men, which means men have more time to spend watching television, surfing the net, chatting to friends and doing other social and recreational activities.

And the women? Well, with all the cooking and cleaning happening, their time for fun seems quite limited.

Come on, guys, don't you think it's high time you stepped up a bit more so the women in your lives get to have some fun too?

- Faiza Mallick

Sources: mg.co.za; The Times – 29 August 2013

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