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Gender Roles In Australia

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Australian families have experienced many significant changes over the past 6 decades. For women these changes consequently resulted in equality of opportunities, and conditions in the labour force. Along with the willingness of most men to become voluntarily involved in core household work, as well as taking on a greater role with respect to childcare. This essay will discuss two significant changes in gender roles, and will examine some of the positive and negative impacts it had on Australian society over the past six decades. On the one hand, Australian federal and state governments passed several new laws and legislations which resulted in an increased participation by women in the labour force. These legislative changes provide many more…show more content…
Several studies ‘link the performance or avoidance of housework to one’s gender ideology’ which is a set of beliefs about what is appropriate behaviour for men and women in this instance ‘household work’ (Baxter, Hewitt & Western 2011). Chesters (2012) states that men with ‘traditional gender attitudes’ will spend less time doing housework whilst women with the ‘same traditional attitudes’ will spend more time doing housework in comparison to women with more ‘egalitarian gender attitudes’ will spend less time doing household work as men with the same ‘egalitarian gender attitudes’ will spend more time doing housework. Despite women’s greater role in the workplace, there is still a power imbalance in favour of men where women receiving lower wages consequently couples paying more attention to the man’s career path (Healy 2014, p.8). This encourages women to rather withdraw from paid work to take on work around the home (Healy 2014, p.8). A report published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2014) found that although 58% of women are in some form of paid employment, they still spend 18 hours doing housework as to the 7 hours per week reported by men. (Baxter, Hewitt & Western 2009). Considering that women outperform men by far in the area of housework suggests that gender is still the basis of who does housework. From this perspective, it is reasonable to say that due to the power imbalance women is still doing the majority of household work while men continue to do the majority of paid
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