Gender differences in leisure activities
While this study didn't analyse the reasons why women feel more rushed, other research suggests women still feel more responsible for taking care of children and housework, even if men are pitching in more than they once did. This means that the quality of free time may not be the same for women as it is for men. For example, even during their free time, women may still be more responsible than men for meeting the needs of their children.
Case Study 1: England
Watching television was the most common leisure activity for over eight out of ten men and women in England in 2006/07 (84% and 85% respectively). Spending time with family and friends was the second most popular activity for eight out of ten women (82 %) compared with more than seven in ten men (75 %). Similarly women were more likely to take part in cultural activities such as reading (73 % compared with 56% of men) and arts and crafts (25 % compared with 13 per cent).
Men were more likely to perform physical activities such as DIY (46 % compared with 26 % of women) and sport and exercise (58 % compared with 43 % of women). Men were also more likely to use the Internet (49 % and 40 % respectively) and twice the proportion of men than women played computer games (27 % and 12 % respectively).
Case Study 2: China
The Leisure Economics Research Center of the People's University recently conducted a survey on Beijingers' time allocation in the past 20 years. Twenty years ago, women in Beijing had 3 hours and 27 minutes [per day] of leisure time, while 4 hours and 23 minutes for men. Twenty years later, men still have more leisure time than women: 5 hours and 5 minutes and 4 hours and 26 minutes respectively. In 1986, men spent 44 minutes cooking per day, compared to 1 hour and 8 minutes for women. In 2006, men spent 21 minutes cooking, 43% of the time women spend cooking.
- OECD's "Society at a Glance 2009": http://www.oecd.org/document/24/0,3343,en_2649_34637_2671576_1_1_1_1,00.html