Women’s Health Data: Household and family
Household and family arrangements influence many aspects of a person’s life. Imbalance of paid work and family/carer responsibilities has a direct impact on women’s life outcomes, including their social and economic status, participation in public life, health and emotional wellbeing. Increased paid work opportunities for women in the past twenty years have not produced a corresponding change in the division of unpaid responsibilities between men and women. Women with family/carer responsibilities carry a disproportionate share of unpaid work, including child care, elder care and associated housework.
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There are more women than men in unpaid caring roles and almost twice as many women primary carers as men1.
40% of women who are primary carers spend more than 40 hours a week caring compared with 28% of male primary carers1.
71.4% of women who are primary carers reported at least one of the reasons they took on the role was that alternatives were not available or they had no other option1.
In 2009, 62.5% of women who were primary carers reported experiencing negative impacts on their wellbeing, compared with 48.4% of men1.
Lone mothers were significantly more likely to report one or more cash flow problems (79%) in the last 12 months compared to lone fathers (54%)2.
30% of female employees who are lone parents with dependent children, are casual employees without paid leave entitlements2.
Cost was the reason that the formal child care or preschool required for one in four children (24.5%) aged 0 to 12 years was not used1.
In 2008, the main reason given by parents for using child care was work-related. 70% of children in formal care and 49% of children in informal care attended for this reason3
Of the 412,000 Victorians who are carers, 62% are women4
In couples where men and women both work full time, women undertake more than twice the amount of housework as men5
Mothers of children up to 4 years of age, spend over 30 hours a week on primary child care activities while fathers spend just over 11 hours6
Mothers spend more than half of this time on the physical and emotional care of children, while fathers spend the most time (4 hours 39 minutes) on playing/reading/talking with children6
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
Indigenous women are more likely than non-Indigenous women to have caring responsibilities for children other than their own7
Indigenous people are more likely to provide unpaid assistance to a person with a disability than non-Indigenous people (13% compared with 11%)8.
*• Indigenous women are more likely than Indigenous men to provide unpaid assistance to a person with a disability (16% compared with 10%)8.
Women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
The cost of formal childcare is high, preventing many women from CALD backgrounds from participating in employment or further education10
There is inadequate support for women from CALD backgrounds who have aged care responsibilities, particularly where their culture dictates that they are to stay home and be the primary care-giver10
Women with disabilities
Around one third of primary carers have a disability (37%), compared with 16% of people who were not in a caring role9.
34% of female primary carers have disability9.
43,300 female primary carers themselves had a profound or severe core activity limitation9.
Same-sex attracted women
In gay and lesbian parent families the division of labour is more equal than in other family types11.
The level of social acceptance of lesbian orientation and lesbian families has a direct bearing on the social support that lesbian parents are able to access on behalf of their children12.
- COAG Reform Council.Tracking equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia Report to the Council of Australian Governments 21 October 2013. [cited 20 November 2013] Available from: http://www.coagreformcouncil.gov.au/reports/gender-equity/tracking-equity-comparing-outcomes-women-and-girls-across-australia. ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Gender Indicators, 2013. Cat. no. 4125.0. Canberra: ABS; 2013 [cited 14 September 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4125.0~Aug%202013~Main%20Features~Contents~1. ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Child Care. Australian Social Trends, Jun 2010. Cat. no. 4102.0. Canberra: ABS; 2010 [cited 20 November 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features50Jun+2010. ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. A profile of carers in Australia. Cat. No. 4448.0. Canberra: ABS; 2008 [cited 21 August 2013]. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4448.02008?OpenDocument. ↩
- Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Striking the Balance: Women, men, work and family Discussion Paper 2005. Sydney: Sex Discrimination Unit Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; 2005. [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/striking-balance-women-men-work-and-family. ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. How Australians use their time, 2006. Cat no. 4153.0. Canberra: ABS; 2008. [cited 9 November 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4153.0Main%20Features22006?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4153.0&issue=2006&num=&view= . ↩
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. Walking with the women - Addressing the needs of Indigenous women exiting prison. Sydney: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; 2005[cited 9 December 2013] Available from: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/social-justice-report-2004. ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Cat. no. 4713.0. Canberra: ABS; 2006. [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/62CB550A4BB19F9FCA2578DB00283CCA?opendocument. ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012. Cat. no. 4430.0. Canberra: ABS; 2013 [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/0F299F0FB0C27050CA257C210011ADC6?opendocument. ↩
- Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia. Women’s Policy Statement2012: Supporting Australian Women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds.Deakin:2012 [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.fecca.org.au/images/stories/pdfs/fecca%20womens%20policy%202012.pdf. ↩
- Kershaw, S. (2000), "Living in a lesbian household: The effects on children", Child and Family Social Work, vol. 5, pp. 365-371. ↩
- Sarah Wise. Family structure, child outcomes and environmental mediators: an overview of the Development in Diverse Families Study. Research Paper No. 30. Australian Institute of Family Studies, January 2003. [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/RP30.html#critical. ↩
Published: February 2014
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