Household work

In 2013, men and women added together in Belgium, spent an average of 5.7 hours per day on household work. There is no sustainable development goal for the duration of household work.

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Household work - Belgium

hours per day

 1999200520132013//1999
Belgium5.95.75.7-0.2
//: Average Growth Rates

Glorieux, I., J. Minnen, T.P. van Tienoven, et al. (2015), Site internet de l'enquête belge sur l'emploi du temps (www.time-use.be), Groupe de recherche TOR Vrije Universiteit Brussel & DG Statistique - Statistics Belgium, Bruxelles, http://www.time-use.be/fr/ (consulted on 08/11/2017).

Household work by sex - Belgium

hours per day

 1999200520132013//1999
females3.73.53.6-0.2
males2.22.12.20.0
//: Average Growth Rates

Glorieux, I., J. Minnen, T.P. van Tienoven, et al. (2015), Site internet de l'enquête belge sur l'emploi du temps (www.time-use.be), Groupe de recherche TOR Vrije Universiteit Brussel & DG Statistique - Statistics Belgium, Bruxelles, http://www.time-use.be/fr/ (consulted on 08/11/2017).

Definition: domestic work during a day is the time spent in domestic work by all household members aged 12 or above. This indicator is calculated on the basis of the Belgian time use survey, expressed in hours. Domestic work is all tasks performed for home maintenance, meal preparation and children’s upbringing and care. Respondents are Belgians aged 12 or above and “In 1999 8,382 respondents of 10 years or older from 4,275 households have filled in their diaries for two days. In 2005 the number of respondents was 6,400 from 3 474 households. In 2013 the number of respondents was 5,559 from 2,744 households” (Glorieux et al., 2015a). The selection was carried out at the household level. This means that all household members aged 12 or above (or aged 10 in 2013) had to fill in the diary. All members of the same household had to fill in the diary for the same days. Data are obtained from Statbel. Since these data are based on surveys, a margin of uncertainty must be taken into account. Detailed methodological information for calculating confidence intervals is provided in Glorieux et al. (2015b).

At European level, for international comparison purposes, time use surveys are grouped together by the programme HETUS: Harmonised European Time Use Survey (HETUS, 2015), which groups together activities regarded as domestic work in a different way and provides tables for comparing the 15 participating European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) for an average day of persons aged 20 to 74 in a year between 1998 and 2005 according to the countries.

Goal: domestic work should be allocated equally between men and women.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 5.4: “Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate”.

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development includes objective 1 “Women and men will exercise their rights equally. They will be able to contribute to all aspects of the development of society and to the improvement of living conditions without distinction, exclusion or restriction based on gender" (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).

International comparison: the comparison between Belgium and its neighbouring countries shows few differences. But given the different survey dates, these data are purely illustrative. Differences between the time use and HETUS surveys are attributable to differences in the definition of domestic work.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to 5.4.1 - Proportion of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work, by sex, age and location.

Sources

  • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

  • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

  • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

More information is available in FR (French) and NL (Dutch).