Although increased female labour force participation changed the dominant male breadwinner model, some of its characteristics are still firmly in place. Using data from the Time Use Survey 2002-2003, this article compares the day-to-day sharing of time in dual-earner couples and couples where only men are employed. This comparison suggests that, despite the fact that in dual-earner couples breadwinning and care-giving activities are shared, males are still generally primary earners and women the primary care providers. In addition, we find the contribution to unpaid and paid work of men and women is not equal, and this inequality also presupposes a strong disparity in leisure time. Only dual-earner couples with specific characteristics have achieved a certain degree of fairness in the sharing of responsibilities, namely young, cohabiting couples with no children, where the female partner contributes a certain level of earnings. A change in those variables leads to a higher level of inequality, with the presence of children having the most impact. In relation to age, we find that young couples are more egualitarian, not because this generation more readily accepts a norm of gender equality but because of certain characteristics related to age. Our findings offer little hope for a future with more equality between men and women.
- Dual-earner couples
- Male breadwinner model