Labour division in household in China: change of trends between 1989 and 2006

Jianye Liu, Lakehead University
Li Xu, University of Western Ontario

With the rapid social and economic changes, gender roles, as seen inside and outside of households, have been changing in China. After considering the social and economic changes in families, this paper analyzes paid and unpaid work of women and men, based on the China Health and Nutrition Survey of 1989, 1997, and 2006. We examine the period changes and discuss the impact of the changes in broader society on this change inside households, such as equal opportunities and changing gender roles in the broader society. Finally, a multilevel model is used to examine the contributions of factors such as education and labor force participation to this change. We can conclude that both status theory and time constraint theory are useful in explaining the gender gap in household chores and the gender gap in household chores may increase with the economic change in China.

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Presented in Session 95: The gender division of household labour