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French women lose chore war to men

Clea Caulcutt · 8 Mar 2012, 10:13

Published: 08 Mar 2012 11:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Mar 2012 10:13 GMT+01:00

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French men still refuse to pitch in and take on their fair share of work around the home. A recent survey shows that that women do twice as much household work as men.

The good news is that overall women spend less time scrubbing floors, cooking food and taking care of their offspring. But that’s not thanks to men, but to technology.

In 1986, French women spent 5 hours every day cleaning their home, now they only spend 4 hours. The survey conducted by the French statistics agency l’Insee says French women do less housework because they have acquired appliances to help them, such as microwave ovens, washing machines and dryers.

"It’s not thanks to men that women do less household work," said Michel Duée, head of Insee’s household survey department in an interview with Le Parisien, "Women have shaken off some household chores all by themselves. Often because they have had to, because they have careers. When you come home late from work, you spend less time cooking and worrying about whether the windows need cleaning or not." 

The Insee survey points out that men spend a mere six more minutes per day on household work nowadays, compared to men in the 1980s. They do a little over two hours of household work per day. Men take care of the children more than they used to, go out shopping more regularly, and spend less time on DIY.

Men still however refuse to do some chores deemed too boring or difficult. Only 15 percent of French men iron their clothes.

Clea Caulcutt (news.france@thelocal.com)

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