The Korea Herald


Korean men shun housework: data


Published : April 13, 2011 - 17:45

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Asian men spend less than an hour a day doing home chores

Korean men spend the least amount of time doing housework in the OECD.

The 2011 edition of “Society at a glance ―- OECD Social Indicators” indicated that Southern European and Asian men were least likely to participate in household chores.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development conducted a survey on 29 countries to see how much time people devoted to unpaid work. Unpaid work was defined as the production of goods and services not sold on the market such as cooking, gardening and cleaning.

The results showed people spent 3.5 hours a day on average on unpaid work. Women spent 2.5 hours more a day doing household chores than men.

Asian men, especially those from India, Japan, and South Korea spent the least amount of time ― less than an hour a day ― doing unpaid work. American men, on the contrary, spent around three hours a day doing household chores apart from their regular work. 

The study showed part of the reason for women’s higher share of unpaid work was their shorter time in paid work. Countries with high levels of female paid employment had a more equal gender division of total working time. Norway, which is well known for strong gender equality policies, had the lowest female unpaid working time.

Korean women ranked eighth for the amount of time they spent on unpaid work out of the 29 OECD countries. In contrast, Korean men were placed last among the OECD countries for their participation in unpaid work. They spent only 50 minutes a day on average compared to almost 200 minutes a day spent by their female counter parts.

Other unpaid work such as child care was low for Korea, Belgium and Hungary. Total time devoted to child care occupied less than one hour per day, the lowest among all OECD countries, whereas Anglophone countries ranked the highest.

Parents spent on average 4.1 hours with their children. Gender differences were apparent in primary child care as well with fathers spending 42 minutes whereas mothers spent an hour and 40 minutes on average with their children.
Korea ranked the lowest for parents’ devotion to child care. The amount of time Korean fathers spent with their children showed almost no difference between working men and non-working men with 12 and 13 minutes each. However, non-working Korean mothers spent about three times more time with their children ― 89 minutes ― compared to working moms ― 31 minutes.

Unpaid work not only contributes to household consumption but also to future well-being and to community well-being, the study said.

Veerle Miranda, the study’s author, said unpaid work is an “unglamorous way of contributing to the economy.”

“If unpaid work were remunerated, it could equal to one-third of the average GDP in OECD countries,” she said.

Koreans’ kindness just below the world average

In the worldwide league of kindness, Koreans ranked below average, a OECD report showed.

The report revealed that about 35 percent of Koreans showed kindness recently, slightly behind the OECD average at 39 percent.

Of the 34 OECD member countries, Korea came 21st in the pro- and anti-social behavior index, 2010, followed by Mexico, France and Japan. Japan came 28th at 26 percent.

Koreans also showed low levels of anti-social behavior along with Israel, Japan and Poland.

The survey, based on the Gallup World Poll, asked people in over 140 countries if they had volunteered, donated money to a charity or helped a stranger recently.

About 60 percent of people in the U.S. and Ireland said they helped someone, ranking first and second in the index, followed by Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.

The report concluded that those in higher income countries are more likely to help others as northern European countries showed a high percentage for pro-social behavior.

However, the link between income inequality and anti-social behavior was seen as weak as Sweden and Czech Republic, with relatively equal societies, showed high levels of anti-social behavior.

Under the five indexes, Korean ranked below the OECD average in “social trust” at 26th, “confidence in national institutions” at 21st, “voting” at last and “tolerance” at 28th. Korea showed the lowest voting rate among OECD countries at 46 percent, just behind the United States at 48 percent. 

By Yun Suh-young, Lee Woo-young
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<한글 기사>

아시아 男 집안일 가장 안해..韓 1시간 미만

아시아와 남유럽 남성들의 가사 노동 참여도가 가장 낮은 것으로 조사됐다.

경제협력개발기구(OECD)가 29개국의 무상 노동(unpaid work) 시간을 조사한 결과, 이같이 나타났다고 월스트리트저널(WSJ)이 12일 보도했다.

OECD는 남성과 여성을 포함한 하루 평균 무상 노동 시간은 3시간 30분이었고 여성의 무상 노동 시간은 2시간30분으로 남성보다 많았다고 밝혔다.

여성은 남성보다 긴 무상 노동 시간 때문에 보수를 받을 수 있는 노동에 참여할 수 있는 시간이 줄어든다고 OECD는 분석했다.

특히 여성은 요리, 설거지 등 부엌 일에서 남성의 4배에 가까운 시간을 사용하는 것으로 조사됐다.

국가별 남성의 가사노동 시간을 보면 미국은 3시간가량에 달하는 반면, 이탈리아와 포르투갈은 2시간 미만으로 유럽 국가 중 가장 낮았다.

인도와 일본, 한국 남성들이 장보기, 아이 돌보기 등 가사 노동에 사용하는 시간은 1시간도 되지 않아 남유럽 남성들보다도 짧은 것으로 나타났다.

OECD는 무상 노동에 대해 보수를 지급한다면 OECD 회원국 국내총생산(GDP) 평균의 3분의 1에 달할 것으로 추산했다.

OECD는 가사 노동은 경제에 이바지하는 평범한 방법이라며 설거지, 아이에게 책 읽어주기 등은 사회에 공헌하는 중요한 방법이고 즐거운 일이라고 밝혔다.

한편, 미국인은 요리와 설거지에 30분 정도를 사용해 1시간 30분 정도를 쓰는 인도인보다 훨씬 짧았고 음식물을 먹는 데 사용하는 시간은 짧지만 비만율은 높았다고 OECD는 덧붙였다.