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Gender Differences in the Use of Time
All our lives, we are surrounded by gender lore; that is present in almost everything that we face as humans ranging from conversations, humor, lifestyles, and food, among other things. Also, gender seems to be embedded thoroughly in our institutions, what we do, our culture, desires, as well as our time such that it looks natural. Various ideas exist in the world today about gender and beliefs that seem to be undeniable truths. Examining gender-based believes from a different perspective tends to appear odd since it is difficult to pull back from the already established views. As noted, time is one of the factors that help in creating differences between the two genders. This is based on the fact that men tend to have their time characterized by activity and fast movement, while women have time characterized by indoor activities and slow progress. Based on this argument, this paper tries to analyze the issue of time as an essential factor in representing gender differences.
Men and women tend to have different patterns of spending their time statistically. In general, assumption women mostly spend their time getting involved in household activities as compared to men whose time is spent in outdoor activities. Women are mainly concerned with food management, cleaning, laundry, or ironing, among other activities. On the other hand, men tend to engage in construction (Dung et al., 5), as well as gardening activities. Though both men and women are mostly involved in upbringing or general childcare, women are relatively involved primarily in physical care, supervising children, and accompanying them. However, men on the role of childcare are mostly concerned with teaching the young ones, playing with them as well as talking to them.
Human beings have 24 hours in a day to carry out their daily activities. In various studies, researchers have been able to evaluate how human beings tend to use their time in a daily consideration (Anxo et al., 165). For instance, findings indicate that people sleep approximately eight to nine hours a day. Four to six hours of their day is spent on leisure and social life activities. For the case of household and family care activities, humans tend to spend almost two to three hours of their day on average. In consideration of the employment activities, people have a mean time of two to three hours on average, which is spent attending to such roles.
Further, people who study-related activities occupy almost 20 to thirty minutes of people’s daily time on average ((Amory et al., 67). Time spent indicators are useful mostly for those activities that are performed by virtually all the individuals which include, sleeping, eating as well as other personal chores such as hygiene and leisure. These tend to have an approximate participation rate of close to 100% (Anxo et al., 159).
Other studies by various researchers still confirm the fact that men and women have different patterns of spending their time. Also, it is essential to note that women’s participation in household chores affects most of their time, which also influences how they can participate in the labor market (Anxo et al., 172). For instance, dividing time sent in terms of time spent in market and work-related activities, those spent on domestic work, personal care, and that is spent on leisure; it is important to note differences in women and men representation in these divisions. Men are more into market-related work, while women are mostly involved in unpaid domestic activities. However, research shows that women have less time than men for leisure since they work more (Amory et al., 27). However, with the advancement in education, the gender gap is likely to be reduced where more educated women are engaged in outside activities and work more hours though men still have statistically taken the highest percentage in participation.
Women have, however, recently been entering the labor market, which has resulted in significant changes in the labor division and the distribution of time spent in various activities. However, though women have retained their domestic responsibilities, it is clear that their overall work is exponentially increased due to this recent engagement. Authors argue that the gender gap mostly affects women in their mid-ages (25 to 44 years) when marriage and parenthood activities hinder their participation in work (Anxo et al., 169). In contrast, men do not seem to be affected by these changes in their lives, and they tend to continue with their time normally. Being married for men does not affect their time spent while working, actually married men spend most of their time working that men who are not married.
Gender differences can better be attributed to gender expectations and norms that exist in our society today. These are as a result of various policies such as better childcare policies, parental leave system, as well as the labor market regulations. It is important to note that these factors can be regulated and consequently be used to reduce the gap and further improve development. It is clear that gender has a sneaky way of achieving social stratification and that though women are continually entering the labor market, gender tends to force them to end up in caring cantered responsibilities (Liu, 1). At the same time, men focus on goods production and other physical and fast activities. This can more generally be based on the fact that hiring tends to cut women off in activities that emphasize masculinity and speed. As a result, there exists in society a consequence of gender socialization where people feel that there are certain types of gender-typed occupations. Though in our current community, both men and women work in the same rules, there is extensive maintenance of inequality in a time of time spent on specific activities for both men and women (Eileen, 33). However, as noted, there is potential for improvement, and research indicates that engagement of both men and women in various activities equally, this will act as an essential agent of change in the society. The involvement of women in various outdoor activities creates an opportunity for women to promote a positive difference, and this can be used as an influence on gender equity.
Amory, Judith M., Yaohua Shi, and Jiang Yang. Baptism by Yang Jiang. Hong Kong University Press, HKU, 2007.
Anxo, Dominique, et al. “Gender differences in time use over the life course in France, Italy, Sweden, and the US.” Feminist economics 17.3 (2011): 159-195.
Dung, Kai-Cheung, and Qizhang Dong. Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City. Columbia University Press, 2012.
Eileen Chang. Love in a Fallen City,” Romancing Languages, Cultures and Genres. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, HKU, 2012, pp 33-47
Liu, Cixin. The three-body problem. Vol. 1. Macmillan, 2014.
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