Inequality in the Division of Household Labour

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Amy Welsh 32000901 Assignment One Critically Examine How Gender Affects the Division of Labour in Households Despite the ground gained in gender equality issues, unpaid household labour and child rearing is still predominantly performed by women, despite the dramatic increase in female participation in the labour market. Traditionally, the household has been the woman’s domain in every culture across all socioeconomic categories. Baker (2012) states that domestic work exposes “socially constructed and deeply entrenched manifestations of sexual inequality” (p. 339). More often than not, culture reinforces the ideology that men are powerful and women are inferior and is used as a means to validate practises that limit women’s options and opportunity (Reeves & Baden 2000). Culture has long determined gender ideologies, defining the supposed rights and responsibilities for women and men. However, culture is something that is fluid and enduring although often assumed to be natural and unchanging. Ideologically, housework and parenting have moved away from purely being the woman’s responsibility to a responsibility shared. This paper will examine to what extent gender still plays in the allocation of housework and parenting. Housework or domestic labour is commonly known as being oppressive in nature as there are no boundaries or limits to its demands and endless supply. Walters & Whitehouse (2012) note that housework is an essential task that has little reward; rather, it is repetitious and dull acting to serve the perpetuation of life. Thus feminists view housework as something that women needed to be emancipated from in order to be empowered. The feminist movement led to increased opportunities for women in the labour market and a transformation about the expectation and norms for women with “few occupations or professions still closed to women” (Walters
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