In an exclusive new poll, commissioned by Grazia magazine for International Women’s Day (8 March), to establish whether despite all the talk of equality women were still doing more at home, results reveal that 73% of women who live with a partner felt they did more ‘Invisible Labour’ than their partner. And the full survey results make for depressing reading.
When Grazia asked readers what they had done around their home, or for their family, in the past week that they felt had been unappreciated, the answers came in thick and fast ranging from ‘The washing up. Always a bowl full of it. I’m sure my fingers are webbed’ to ‘It’s the five minutes spare I have versus the five minutes my husband has. His will be a cup of tea and a phone scroll; mine will be unloading the dishwasher or booking an appointment for the kids.’
Indeed, the impact of children causes the Invisible Labour gap to widen further – and can even lead to relationship problems, as Grazia’s survey results further reveal.
73% of Grazia readers who live with a partner feel they do more Invisible Labour than their partner. Yet the division of labour doesn’t decrease when both partners are working part time – in those households, 70% still feel they do more.
76% say they organise the joint family calendar, while 54% say they regularly buy presents for their partner’s family on their behalf.
One Grazia reader surveyed revealed: “I do it all. People just expect it to happen like magic.” Another admitted: “I organise everything and everyone. But my work is invisible.”
80% believe the Invisible Labour gap increased after they had children.
71% of women have taken more time off work for childcare reasons – for instance, when a child has been ill, or for parents’ evenings. The same number – 71% – organised their child’s last birthday party, while 87% buy most of their children’s clothes.
One respondent said: “On my day off, I’m left to clean the kitchen.”
Most worryingly, this imbalance of labour has caused relationship problems in 62% of Grazia households. Fifty five per cent of women feel the current balance of Invisible Labour is having a negative impact on their mental health. This is felt more keenly in households where the reader works part-time but their partner works full time (65%) and in households with children (67%).
“It’s not the doing necessarily. It’s all the thinking…” says a Grazia reader.
Commenting on the survey, Hattie Brett, Grazia Editor says: “It’s really positive that so many battles have been won for women in the workplace recently, but have things got better at home? That’s what we wanted to ask our readers. And the results of our Invisible Labour survey were stark – showing that there’s still much inequality that goes on unaddressed behind closed doors. It showed that the fact women are still doing more at home is proving detrimental to their relationships and mental health – and that, when children come into the equation, the Invisible Labour gap only increases.”
Grazia’s International Women’s Day Special Issue is published on Tuesday 3 March, 2020.
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About the Grazia 'Invisible Labour Survey:
Grazia Magazine polled 1,005 women who are living with a partner, and research was conducted during the month of February 2020. They were questioned on actions taken around invisible labour, the impact of children on it, how they feel about invisible labour in their household and the impact of it on their lives.
About Bauer Media UK:
Grazia magazine is published by Bauer Media UK. Bauer Media UK reaches over 25 million UK consumers through a portfolio of world-class, multi-platform media and entertainment brands including heat, KISS, Grazia, Empire, Magic, Absolute Radio and the Hits Radio Network. These brands offer commercial partners access to highly engaged audiences, with creative solutions underpinned by insight and instinct. Bauer Media UK is part of the Bauer Media Group, one of the world’s largest privately owned media businesses with media assets all over the globe.
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