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Why Women Are So Stressed, Known at Last

Media Release from Alliance Website

Why Women Are So Stressed, Known at Last

Wed Dec 15 1999

'At last we know the work New Zealand women really do,' says the Associate Minister of Women's Affairs, the Honourable Phillida Bunkle welcoming the release of initial data from the long awaited New Zealand Time Use Survey.

'This study arose from the days when the official view was that women 'didn't work'. It is wonderful to have this groundbreaking study. After so many years of pressure from a huge range of women's groups we can show why women always feel so busy. Now we know the reality of women's lives and exactly why so many women feel so stressed.'

The survey reveals that women spend approximately twice as much time as men doing housework and preparing meals.

There is a major difference in care giving for household members with women providing three times as much caregiving to household members.

There is a major difference in the time spent shopping with women on average spending 5 hours a week and men 3 hours a week shopping.

But even more important than the amount of paid and unpaid work women do is the multiple focus of women's activities. The reality of caring work is apparent in the amount of simultaneous disparate activities that women do.

Other surveys have only measured one activity at a time but this one allows a record of all the things that women do at the same time. This gives a much more accurate picture of women's real lives. In this survey they can hold the baby and cook the meal while talking to their mother-in-law on the phone.

'Now I and other women can show that the real difference between myself and men is not that I don't concentrate but that I do so many things at once.'

Now we know that not only do women spend 1 hour and 26 minutes more than men on household tasks each day but that much more of that time is spend simultaneously doing something else. Women spend half an hour of that time also doing another activity while for men this is only 11 minutes.

The survey shows that in families with some or all children under 18 the women spend an average of five hours a day more than men doing simultaneous activities do. Of course the most extreme example is where a single parent is female the parent will do ten hours more simultaneous activity per day than a single male father.

Maori women are especially well represented in this survey and we have for the first time a real picture of the care Maori women provide. This survey shows that Maori women and men do more of all unpaid work, caregiving community cultural and religious activities than non-Maori. This adds up to less money and less time available for themselves.

'We have come a long way since my involvement in the first of these such surveys. I am delighted that we now have a comprehensive assessment of the different roles performed by women and men in our community. This survey is a landmark in our understanding of the differences between the lives of women and men in New Zealand,' said Phillida Bunkle.

Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance

'At last we know the work New Zealand women really do,' says the Associate Minister of Women's Affairs, the Honourable Phillida Bunkle welcoming the release of initial data from the long awaited New Zealand Time Use Survey.

'This study arose from the days when the official view was that women 'didn't work'. It is wonderful to have this groundbreaking study. After so many years of pressure from a huge range of women's groups we can show why women always feel so busy. Now we know the reality of women's lives and exactly why so many women feel so stressed.'

The survey reveals that women spend approximately twice as much time as men doing housework and preparing meals.

There is a major difference in care giving for household members with women providing three times as much caregiving to household members.

There is a major difference in the time spent shopping with women on average spending 5 hours a week and men 3 hours a week shopping.

But even more important than the amount of paid and unpaid work women do is the multiple focus of women's activities. The reality of caring work is apparent in the amount of simultaneous disparate activities that women do.

Other surveys have only measured one activity at a time but this one allows a record of all the things that women do at the same time. This gives a much more accurate picture of women's real lives. In this survey they can hold the baby and cook the meal while talking to their mother-in-law on the phone.

'Now I and other women can show that the real difference between myself and men is not that I don't concentrate but that I do so many things at once.'

Now we know that not only do women spend 1 hour and 26 minutes more than men on household tasks each day but that much more of that time is spend simultaneously doing something else. Women spend half an hour of that time also doing another activity while for men this is only 11 minutes.

The survey shows that in families with some or all children under 18 the women spend an average of five hours a day more than men doing simultaneous activities do. Of course the most extreme example is where a single parent is female the parent will do ten hours more simultaneous activity per day than a single male father.

Maori women are especially well represented in this survey and we have for the first time a real picture of the care Maori women provide. This survey shows that Maori women and men do more of all unpaid work, caregiving community cultural and religious activities than non-Maori. This adds up to less money and less time available for themselves.

'We have come a long way since my involvement in the first of these such surveys. I am delighted that we now have a comprehensive assessment of the different roles performed by women and men in our community. This survey is a landmark in our understanding of the differences between the lives of women and men in New Zealand,' said Phillida Bunkle.


ENDS

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