Back To Top

Breadwinning women still do more chores, child care than husbands: study

Even in dual-income marriages, domestic responsibilities fall heavier on women

Domestic responsibilities are unevenly shared for dual-income married couples in Korea, with the burden falling predominantly on women.

The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs’ study on the distribution of duties in marriage showed Wednesday that women spend 7.5 times more time on domestic labor and 3.5 times more on child care than do their husbands, even when both are economically active.


While men spent an average of 17.4 minutes on housework during weekdays, women spent 129.5 minutes. On weekends, women spent 4.3 times more (176.4 minutes) than men (41 minutes) doing housework.

Child care hours were unevenly split as well. On weekdays, men spent 14.9 minutes parenting, also much less than women at 52.2 minutes. On weekends, women parented 1.7 times longer (48.6 minutes) than did men (28.8 minutes).

On top of greater domestic duties, women also had 13 percent less time for leisure than men. Men’s weekend leisure time averaged 410.4 minutes, with women’s at 362.4 minutes.

The study also found that in single-income households, male breadwinners spent much less time housekeeping or parenting (11.5 minutes) than did their wives (238.9 minutes), depending primarily on their spouse to take care of the housework and parenting. Female breadwinners, on the other hand, spent just as much time for domestic and parenting duties as their housekeeping husbands, or more.

Conducted over a year in 2018 using Statistics Korea’s time-use survey data, KIHASA’s study analyzed how married couples allot their times on economic activities, domestic labor, child care and leisure.

Established in 1999, the government-funded think tank is a leading health and social policy research institute in Korea.

By Kim Arin (