Articles

Housework and childcare in Italy: a persistent case of gender inequality

Adele Menniti, Pietro Demurtas, Serena Arima, Alessandra De Rose

Abstract


 This article focuses on the gender gap in housework and childcare in Italian couples. Italian women still carry out three-quarters of domestic work and two-thirds of childcare. We focus on three possible theoretical explanations for the persistence of the gendered division of labor: time availability, relative resources, and conformity with traditional gender ideology. Time Use data from the 2008/09 Survey edition have been used: we considered couples, married or in consensual unions, with at least one child under 14 years of age and with the mother employed. The amount of time spent by men and women on, respectively, domestic tasks and on caring for children has been modeled as a function of several couples and household characteristics. Similarly, we analyzed the women’s share of total time for housework and childcare, respectively, as dependent variables. In order to take into account the truncated nature of the dependent variables a Tobit model has been used. Results show that the family division of work is heavily biased towards women, and it is only when they take on the role of breadwinner that the amount of time their unemployed male partners spend on domestic tasks increases. Generally, when the financial resources of women are greater than those of men, they reduce the time spent on housework and gender asymmetry decreases. With regard to childcare, the gender gap is significantly reduced only when the man is unemployed and in territorial contexts where the gender system and ideology are less traditional.

Adele MENNITI, Researcher, Institute for Research on Population and Social Policy, Rome, Italy. E-mail: a.menniti@irpps.cnr.it.

Pietro DEMURTAS, Researcher, Institute for Research on Population and Social Policy, Rome, Italy. E-mail: p.demurtas@irpps.cnr.it.

Serena ARIMA, Researcher, Department of Methods and Models for Economy, Territory and Finance, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome. E-mail: alessandra.derose@uniroma1.it.

Alessandra DE ROSE, Professor of Demography, Department of Methods and Models for Economy, Territory and Finance, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome. E-mail: alessandra.derose@uniroma1.it.

 

 

 

 


Keywords


Time use; Housework; Childcare; Gender;Tobit model; Italy

Full Text

PDF

Identifiers



ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54