Work and Family Balance: Gender Indicators

The ABS has tracked how men and women spend their time. 

Paid and unpaid work, childcare

In 2006, the time spent on paid and unpaid work by people aged 15 years and over averaged 7 hours and 25 minutes per day for men and 7 hours and 34 minutes per day for women. This included employment related activities, formal volunteer work and unpaid work in the home (domestic, child care and purchasing activities to support the worker’s household, and caring for others outside the home (informal volunteer work)).

On average, men spent nearly twice as long as women on employment related activities, while women spent nearly twice as long as men on primary activities associated with unpaid work. Women were also likely to spend more time on domestic activities (2 hours 52 minutes per day compared with 1 hour and 37 minutes per day for men) and childcare (59 and 22 minutes respectively per day). See Tables 4.1 and 4.2 for more detail.
Providing care

Primary care of a person with disability

In 2012, 5.8% of women and 2.6% of men provided primary care to a person with disability. Persons with disability themselves were more likely than those without to provide this care (9.3% and 5.8% respectively compared with 4.9% of women and 1.8% of men with no disability).

Time Stress and Work and Family Balance

Whether felt rushed or pressed for time 

In 2007, 35% of Australian men and 42% of Australian women felt they were always or often rushed or pressed for time. This was higher for those who provided care, rising to 46% of men and 55% of women. The main reasons women gave for feeling rushed or pressed for time were trying to balance work and family responsibilities (31%) and having too much to do/too many demands placed upon them (19%). For men, the main reasons were trying to balance work and family responsibilities (27%) and pressure of work/study (26%). See Table 4.6 for more detail.

Whether feels responsibilities are in balance

Around three in five Australians in 2007 felt their work and family responsibilities were always or often in balance, although 16% of men and 15% of women felt they were rarely or never in balance (see Table 4.7).


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