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Women still do 50% more unpaid housework than men

Women spent more time than men on unpaid domestic and family work in Switzerland last year (28.7 hours a week compared with 19.1 hours). However, men have pulled up their socks since 2010, when they spent only 16.2 hours a week on such chores.

Both women and men aged 15 or older invested about 46 hours a week in paid and unpaid work, according to the Swiss Labour Force Survey published by the Federal Statistical Office on Thursday.

On average, men did more paid work (25.3 hours a week, versus 15.8 for women). But since 2010 men have spent more time preparing meals, including doing an extra 1.7 hours of washing up and an extra 30 minutes cleaning and tidying a week.

Among domestic tasks, preparing meals is still the most time-consuming (7.8 hours a week for women, 4.5 for men). This is followed by cleaning (4.5 hours for women, 2.1 for men). Women spend an average of 2.1 hours a week shopping whereas men do this for 1.9 hours. Laundry and ironing clearly remain the responsibility of women (2.0 hours a week versus 0.6 hours).

Women spend 2.6 hours a week on animals, plants and gardening, compared with 1.9 hours by men. Only when it comes to manual work are men ahead (1.6 hours versus 1.0 hour). The distribution of administrative tasks is more or less equal (1.4 hours for men, 1.3 for women).

The situation doesn’t improve for women in retirement. In the 65-74 age group the total workload reached 31.5 hours a week for women in 2020 and 27.1 for men. Domestic and family tasks took up the most time: 26.5 hours for women, 19.6 hours for men.