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Gender imbalance still on the menu

11th Sep 17 10:55 am

Study shows

In 17 per cent of UK households, women are now the main breadwinners but they also still seem to still be the main “bread makers”, according to the latest annual report from BBC Good Food.

The fourth annual study of 5,000 adults across the UK has revealed that over three quarters of women claim the burden of cooking responsibility falls to them.

Given positive changes in gender equality, a year-on-year rise of 4 per cent in women remaining firmly the main meal preparer in households may come as a surprise to some. Women living in the South East are most likely to identify as the household cook (81 per cent) but those in Northern Ireland the least (60 per cent).

In terms of age, women in the 55+ age category are the most likely to take the main responsibility for cooking (24 per cent). In the millennial age category of 25-34 year-olds, men are most likely (10 per cent) to take a share of meal prep compared to all other age demographics.

Many respondents in the BBC Good Food Nation study confessed to leaving the cooking to someone else, but those figures also show women doing more. 31 per cent of men said that their female partner did all the cooking while only 9 per cent of women credited their male partners. Similarly, of the people who live with their parents, way more mothers do the cooking than fathers, with an 87 / 13 per cent split.

Only 9 per cent of the nation said they shared the cooking equally in their household – but the male-female breakdown is interesting: 11 per cent of men claim the cooking is shared, but fewer than 7 per cent of women say the same thing. Similarly, 48 per cent of men claim that they do most of the cooking, which doesn’t tally with the 76 per cent of women saying that they’re the ones doing it all.

BBC Good Food’s Family Editor, Lily Barclay, said: “It certainly gives us reason to reflect on whose shoulders the burden of domestic responsibility in UK households should fall, and whether an equal society is still some way into the future.

“That said, what these statistics don’t tell us is how the other household tasks are divided, so we can only hope that the balance is restored elsewhere.”

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