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Since the corona crisis, there has been a growing trend toward telecommuting and working from home. Scary outside, but safe inside. The government may think so, but bad things happen even at home. Parents and children are stressed by staying at home, and abuse and domestic violence are increasing. Marital quarrels are also likely to break out, and some companies are starting to rent out rooms for those who don’t want to be with their families 24/7. It is men in the prime of their working lives who have a large gap between their lives and their usual lives. He is always busy with work and rarely does household chores. From his wife’s point of view, it’s painful to have a husband who doesn’t do anything at home all the time. On social media, one can see his wife lamenting, “It looks like I have one more big child.” There are many sources of conflict between husband and wife. This is also because men’s lives are usually biased. Life is all about work, and the division of work (housework) at home is not going well. It is easy to visualize the current situation with data. The OECD statistics website (OECD.Stat) has statistics on the hours spent by men and women aged 15 to 64. It’s the average amount of time each activity takes per day. Looking at the three figures for Japan (2016), the results are as follows. ▽ Paid working hours for men = 452 minutes ▽ Unpaid working hours for men = 41 minutes ▽ Unpaid working hours for women = 224 minutes Paid work can be read as work, and unpaid work can be read as housework. Using these, let’s calculate two indices that visualize the distortion of life. ▼Work-life balance = 41/(452+41) = 8.3% ▼Equal share of housework with wife = 41/(41+224) = 15.4% This means that the husband’s share of the total hours is 15.4%. I’m sure I’m not the only one with the impression that it’s really low. Compared to other countries, that impression turns into conviction.

is the result of calculating the same index for seven major countries. Looking at the calculated figures (right column), Western countries are much higher than Japan. Both indicators are above 30%. The highest WLB rate among men is 36.5% in France, and the maximum share of housework is 43.7% in Sweden. In France, one-third of men’s tasks are household chores, and in Sweden, men’s share of housework is approaching half. The characteristics of a country that emphasizes individual life and a country that promotes equality between men and women are reflected. Japan, on the other hand, has the lowest of the seven countries in both indicators. The absolute level of the numbers shows that men’s lives are distorted, but the relative level compared to other countries also stands out. ===== The original OECD statistics include data for 30 countries. What will happen if Japan is placed in the overall structure of the above two indicators for all countries?
shows the dots for the 30 countries on the coordinates, with the horizontal axis representing the degree of WLB for men and the vertical axis representing the equal share of housework. Japan’s peculiar current situation is “visualized”. It is the lowest on both the horizontal and vertical axes. It can be seen that among OECD member countries, men’s work-life balance and the division of household chores are the least advanced. Don’t think that men look the same in every country. Countries in the upper right corner of the graph also have high labor productivity (GDP per worker). There are various factors that can be considered, such as concentrating on finishing work in time to value life with family, and the progress of ICT in work. The latter is an advantage in this time of the corona crisis. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan has also become a work-from-home system, but as you can see from the data here, the gap between normal and normal is too large. Japan may be the most turbulent home. It is said to be an opportunity for work style reform, but we should also review the way we live at home. At the same time as women’s advancement in society, men’s advancement in the home should also be promoted. The latter is a prerequisite for realizing the former. ===== .

Japan’s men’s share of housework remains the lowest in the developed world

https://www.newsweekjapan.jp/stories/assets_c/2022/10/data221018-pic-thumb-1000×667-535555.jpg

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