The division of household labour: a cross-national comparison. The role of the macro-level gender equality on the division of household labour in European countries
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While most previous studies focused on the individual-level determinants of the division of household labour, the focus in this study is mainly on the (in)direct effects of the national context on couples’ domestic work division. Since the national context is taken into account, it is possible to examine whether couples in European countries differ in their household division. In this study, three individual-level effects on couples’ domestic work are examined. Moreover, the interplay between the macro-level force ‘female empowerment’ and the individual-level characteristics in influencing couples’ housework division is investigated. The results show that couples in European countries differ significantly in their household division. Also much evidence has been found to support the individual-level effects on couples’ housework division. In contrast, no evidence has been found to support the notion that the macro-level gender equality directly affects the household division. Additional analysis shows that there is only limited evidence to support the indirect effects of the macro-level gender equality on couples’ division of household labour. These results are based on a multiple linear regression analysis, controlling for country clustering. In this analysis, data from 23 countries in the European Social Survey 2004, round 2 are used.