WOMEN?S WORK, GENDER IDEOLOGY AND DOMESTIC DIVISION OF LABOUR: WHERE DO MEN STAND?

Abstract

Author(s): Asl? E. MERT

This research investigates the domestic division of labour patterns in the Turkish households and how women’s employment is affected by the gendered share of domestic chores as well as by men’s gender ideology at home. The separation of roles in the private sphere in relation to women’s work trajectories is elaborated by addressing housework undertaken by women predominantly, and it is argued that the overwhelming nature of traditionally female housework (that is among the major barriers for women to be particularly in high-end jobs) and the lack of men’s support at home affect women’s continuity in the labour market negatively. Using Family Structure Survey data (TurkStat, 2006), results demonstrate that time availability and resource bargaining perspectives do not create the anticipated impact on women’s involvement in the female housework, yet due to different coping mechanisms for childcare, there is a dramatic change in women’s share in caring for children when they work and have higher earnings. As men are found to be supportive of female employment in theory, they are not involved in female-dominated chores at home in practice. The findings show that men’s status at home needs to be reinforced as much as women’s paid work is supported and alongside with tangible support, mentality towards conventional gender roles needs to be changed.

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