In 2014, according to a study by the national institute for statistics (STATEC), women spent an average of 5 hours and 29 minutes per day with their children, two hours more than their spouses, who only spent 3 hours and 29 minutes with them. More than 50% of men actually spend less than three hours a day with their children, compared with 31% of women.
But the difference is not only due to the fact that women are more likely to work part-time than men, or decide to stay at home to look after their children. Even in equal economic circumstances, i.e. if both parents work full-time, women spend 1 hour and 20 minutes more than men per day with their children, equivalent to 4 hours and 43 minutes for women and 3 hours and 25 minutes for men.
The difference between men and women diminishes as the children grow up. The difference is more than two hours while the children are between 0 and 6 years old, but is only 15 minutes when their children are aged between 13 and 17. At the weekend, parents spend more time with their children, but fathers do not take advantage of their spare time to make up for lost time.
Household tasks are the cause of the gap
The difference between men and women is very slight when it comes to leisure activities such as sport, watching TV, and playing games. The amount of time devoted to helping with homework is also almost identical. So what makes the difference between men and women is the amount of time women spend on providing transport and childcare, and in preparing and eating meals.
According to the study, this also explains why men are generally more satisfied with their parenting time than women are. The appreciation of parenting time is closely connected with the tasks carried out - and it is mainly women who do the least enjoyable tasks, such as housework and providing transport for the children.
Lastly, STATEC notes that this particular gender gap is closely correlated to household income. On average, parents in high-income households spend more time with their children than parents in low-income households.
(Article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu / Source: STATEC, 'Regards' no. 6/2017)