Dramatic changes in working patterns have taken place in the UK, particularly in the rise of women in employment. Three quarters of households now have dual incomes, but women still take responsibility for most of the housework, according to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Despite institutional and legislative changes intended to reduce inequality and improve work-life balance, women are still finding themselves working long hours at home and at work and, for their trouble, generally receive less pay than their male equivalents. The project, carried out by Doctor Susan Harkness, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, studied the changes in female employment in the UK since the 1970s, a field that has seen little previous research. It focused on: working hours; times of work; income and wage premiums; and unpaid work such as, housework and childcare.
As improved wage opportunities for women have emerged in recent decades, more and more married women have taken up paid employment. In 2002, 70% of working age women who were in employment, a rise of 10% since 1979 and, over the same period, employment rates for mothers with pre-school children almost doubled. In contrast, the number of men in employment and the hours that they work has fallen.
Becky Gammon | alfa
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