About Gender Division Study

Table 1 makes clear that there are differences in mothers' and fathers' time-use habits within and between nations. Mothers spend the majority of their waking hours each week cleaning the house in Korea and France. Fathers, on the other hand, spend the majority of their weekly hours at their jobs. However, there is one thing that all mothers and fathers in Korea and France have in common: they spend the least amount of time each week on child care.
Both moms and fathers spend the majority of their weekly hours working for pay in the USA and Denmark. Furthermore, it is also quite interesting to note that both mothers and fathers in USA and Denmark dedicate least of their hours per week in child care. Therefore, we may note that across all the four countries, both mothers and fathers dedicate less of their time in child care.

Similarities can also be noted for fathers across the four countries. In this case, fathers across all the four countries dedicate most of their hours per week in paid work, followed by housework and lastly child care. However, mothers appear to allocate their hours per week differently in different countries. For instance, in France, mothers appear to allocate most of their time in housework, followed by paid work and lastly child care. And in USA, the pattern for mothers is similar to that of fathers whereby most of the hours per week is allocated to paid work, followed by housework and lastly child care.

The pattern of gender gaps across the four countries as observed in Table 1 can be explained using different ideological perspectives. In this regard, it is imperative to note that ideologies on work, family and child care may vary across countries depending on social and labour market policies existing in a country. For instance, highly developed and social democratic countries tend to emphasize more on gender equality which entails equal participation of men and women in paid work and caregiving (Boje, & Leira, 2012). Conservative countries on the other hand concentrate on traditional women roles such as housework and child care(Boje, & Leira, 2012).

The patterns observed in Table 1 depict the variation in ideological perspectives in different countries. Starting with USA, we can observe that allocation of time for various roles is quite uniform for both men and women. This can be strongly attributed to feminist theory which advocates for increased for gender equality and increased participation of women in the labour market. Interestingly, proponents of feminist theory argue that increased participation of women in the labour market will also reduce gender inequalities at home implying that women will be less involved in housework and child care (Kolmar, & Bartkowski, 2013).

Feminist theory originated in the USA in the 1960s. During this time, there was a great concern that stronger participation of men in the labour had some social, economic and political implications whereby women would be left to spend most of their time at home doing housework and taking care of children (Squier, 2004). Today, USA has adopted liberal labour market policies which advocate for equal participation of men and women in the labour market. This explains why women and men in the USA dedicate most of their hours per week in paid work. With regards to housework and child care, most parents in the USA turn to consumer market to obtain these essential services. Parents are employing social workers to take care of their children while at work. Social workers also undertake other home responsibilities and this greatly reduces the time parents spend at home.

The concept of feminism has become widespread and it has been replicated in social democratic countries, especially in Europe such as Denmark. In this regard, Denmark has over the years been able promote gender mainstreaming policies that advocate for increased participation of women in public and private sectors (Crompton, 2006). Above all, Denmark has been on the frontline in promoting education for women as well as political empowerment for women. This fact has resulted in women participating more in paid work.

However, some European countries have chosen to remain conservative despite their high levels of development. For instance, France has over the years embraced conservative social policies which stresses on the importance of women providing family and child care as well as other social supports (Shenfield, 2013). This has contributed to the reduction of time women spend in paid work. Furthermore, the concept of feminism has not been universally accepted in France. Opponents of feminism in France argue that women ought not to engage in certain social activities that are preserved for men such as drinking or smoking.

In addition, women in France are underrepresented in the labour market. And women who secure employment must be attractive to the potential employer, but at the bottom line employed women receive lower salaries compared to their male counterparts with same level of skills and education (Schwanen, Kwan, & Ren, 2013). All these factors contribute to less participation of women in paid work.

In Korea, conservative social policies also exist. In this regard, traditions pertaining to gender roles exists where fathers reign as the head of the family and mothers come in as a subordinate (Lee, & Ashcraft, 2005). To put this into perspective, men are the sole providers implying that they spend most of their time in paid work. Women on the other hand are responsible for household chores and taking care of children. This fact limits the amount of time women engage in paid work. This explains the trend in time women in Korea allocate for paid work, housework and child care.


In summary, it is evident that there are variations across the four in how mothers and fathers spend their time per week. These variations are attributed to social policies adopted by a country. Social democratic policies advocate for equal participation of both women and men in labour market and social support. These policies are come in countries such as USA. Conservative social policies on the other hand, inhibit women from participating in the labour market. Instead, conservative social policies emphasize on women engaging in household chores and care giving. Conservative social policies are common in countries such as France and Korea.


Boje, T., & Leira, A. (2012). Gender, welfare state and the market (1st ed.). Hoboken: Taylor

and Francis.

Crompton, R. (2006). Employment and the family (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University


Kolmar, W., & Bartkowski, F. (2013). Feminist theory (1st ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Lee, J., & Ashcraft, A. (2005). Gender roles (1st ed.). New York: Nova Biomedical Books.

Schwanen, T., Kwan, M., & Ren, F. (2013). The Internet and the gender division of household

labour. The Geographical Journal, 180(1), 52-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12014

Shenfield, B. (2013). Social Policies for Old Age (1st ed.). Routledge.

Squier, S. (2004). Feminist Theory and/of Science: Feminist Theory Special Issue. Feminist

Theory, 5(2), 123-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1464700104045403

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