London: Men can now get away without doing housework, because the idea that women work a "double shift" at the office and in the home is a myth, claims a UK survey.
If both paid work and unpaid duties such as housework, care and voluntary work are taken into account, husbands actually contribute more than their fair share to the household, experts found.
According to a study of how people use their time, men in Britain spend marginally longer on "productive" work each day than women.
While many wives scale back their working hours or drop out of employment after having children, husbands will often work overtime to earn more income for the family.
Across Europe men and women spend the same number of hours on "productive" work each day, each working on average eight hours either in paid jobs or on unpaid duties.
Couples who have no children at home and who both have full time jobs are the only group where women`s overall workload is greater than men`s, reported the survey.
"This data overturns the well-entrenched theory that women work disproportional long hours in jobs and at home in juggling family and work,” the Telegraph quoted Dr Catherine Hakim, who carried out the study, as saying.
"Feminists constantly complain that men are not doing their fair share of domestic work. The reality is that most men already do more than their fair share,” she added.
The study—(How) can social policy and fiscal policy recognise unpaid family work?— found that only 14 per cent of women in Britain prefer a work-centred lifestyle, compared with 69 per cent who would rather combine work and family life, and 17 per cent who feel the home is more important.