Working dads want more free time for themselves
Working dads want to spend less time at work and more time socialising, while working mums want fewer hours so they can care for their children, a new survey has revealed.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Gender Indicators report reveals the divide, which experts say highlights a continuing "social legacy" of dividing up unpaid work along gender lines.
The just-released data showed 37 percent of employed men and 25 percent of employed women would like to work fewer hours.
About a third of those men would spend the extra free time on socialising or recreation, and about a quarter would spend time with their family but not carrying out childcare duties.
However, the most common reason the women wanted to reduce their working hours was to care for children (42 percent).
Only 14 percent of men prioritised childcare in that way.
The report also found more mothers than fathers always or often feel rushed or pressed for time (55 percent compared to 46 percent).
UniSA Centre for Work+Life director Professor Barbara Pocock said surveys by the centre had found as much as 70 percent of women felt always or almost always rushed for time.
"It shows the continuing disproportionate contribution to care work by men and women in our society," the Daily Telegraph quoted her as saying.
"For a lot of men who do care (for children), their contribution to care has increased in the last two years, but a lot of it is Dad going to a soccer game with the kids. It's not at home in full-time engaged care," she said.
Prof Pocock said that there was a "long-term social legacy" of caring responsibilities falling to women, in Australia and internationally.
"It's very slow to change," she said.
"We should be helping fathers reduce their hours of work where they're long and we should be really encouraging men through things like paid carer's leave when a new baby arrives."
Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation CEO Warwick Marsh agreed many mothers were "time poor" but said a growing number of fathers were choosing to become the stay-at-home parent.
"Fathers actually interact more with their children by playing with them ... taking them to soccer or going to the football," he said.
The ABS data found mothers spend an average eight and a half hours per day caring for children while fathers spend three hours and 55 minutes.
Men spend nearly twice as long as women on job-related activities but, in contrast, women do nearly double the amount of unpaid work.
Domestic activities such as cooking, pet care, cleaning and car maintenance take up eight minutes less per day for women now than in 1997 (2 hours and 53 minutes), while the time men spend on such duties has remained unchanged (one hour and 37 minutes).
Status for Women Minister Gail Gago said "broader social change" and greater workplace flexibility were needed "so that men and women share family responsibilities more equitably."