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Women Still Do A Lot More Housework Than Men, Study Finds

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Despite the fact that the majority of women in the UK now work, ladies still do way more housework than men.

A new survey has found women devote well over the equivalent of a working day each week to household chores - double the amount undertaken by men.

The poll for BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour suggests that women spend an average of 11-and-a-half hours doing housework by their own estimation, while men complete just six.

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The survey, commissioned to launch a week of special programmes to launch the Woman's Hour Chore Calculator, found the most popular bit of housework was cooking.

The vast majority of women said their chief responsibilities included changing sheets and cleaning the toilets, while men were mainly in charge of bins and DIY jobs.

The least popular tasks for both sexes were loo cleaning and ironing. Some 86% of women polled said they were mainly responsible for changing the bedsheets, while 83% said they were responsible for cleaning the toilet.

Some 80% of men said they were mainly responsible for taking out the bins, with 78% saying they did the DIY.

Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey said: "Times have changed. Women are no longer trapped in the home - they can go out to work then come back and start the housework."

Adam Ludlow of polling firm ComRes, which undertook the survey, said: "These results indicate there is a clear divide between the sexes when it comes to housework.

"It's also interesting to note that in polls of this kind, men tend to be bolder in their claims often leading to overestimation whereas women tend to be more cautious and err on the side of underestimation."

The survey also found that more than a quarter (27%) of cohabiting couples argued about household chores several times a month, and most often among younger couples.

The programme is launching its Chore Wars calculator online to enable listeners to calculate the division of responsibilities at home with the aid of a quiz at bbc.co.uk/womanshour.

Similar findings were revealed in a survey of almost 1,000 users of the Mumsnet website.

Changing lightbulbs, taking the bins out and DIY were the only three of 54 common domestic tasks done in more than half of cases by men, with 15 roughly shared and the rest chiefly carried out by women.

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Most often done by female partners were organising playdates, health appointments, childcare and birthday parties - as well as cleaning and laundry.

Parents evenings, school plays and bedtime stories are most often seen as shared activities.

Two thirds of women said they did not want to change the balance either because it suited them or they didn't trust men to do the job properly.

Justine Roberts, CEO of Mumsnet said: "One in three working mums is the main family wage earner, a rise of one million over the last 18 years.

"But despite this, women are still busting a gut back home, responsible for the vast majority of chores and domestic responsibilities. It's not surprising we still talk about glass ceilings and the lack of women at the top. Most of us are just too exhausted to climb the greasy pole."

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