British Women Have More Leisure Than Most In Europe
THIS is a fun little finding about how much leisure time people seem to have. It rather gives the lie to those complaints of ever greater working time that we hear so often:
It is a statistic likely to raise eyebrows in more than a few households but an international study has crowned British women among the “queens of leisure” of the western world.
A new comparison published by the OECD found that women in the UK have – or at least admit to having – more leisure time than their counterparts in any other EU country and second only to those in Norway among the world’s leading economies.
It claims that British women clock up an average of 339 minutes a day relaxing – almost 70 per cent more than those in Portugal enjoy and 61 per cent more leisure than Chinese women have.
Who would have thought it, eh? Especially when we’ve every damn columnist in the land demanding that we do something about the work life balance?
And here’s what has actually been happening. Women’s paid working hours, those going out to do a job, have increased over the past 50 years. The amount of work that has to be done in keeping a household together, the cleaning, cooking and all the rest, has decreased over the same time. The net effect has been that the total amount of work, that paid and unpaid, has been decreasing. This means that there is more leisure time to enjoy.
And, amazingly, the more free market economies, the Anglo Saxon ones, have led to more of this leisure than the more socially democratic ones (Norway’s a special case with all that oil).
There’s always those what will disagree of course:
Ms Freegard said: “Our mums will have a good laugh at being the leisure queens of Europe.
“When we have researched this topic, many tell us that they have 15 minutes a day to themselves of what we call ‘real leisure’ – not multitasking, not listening to the radio while cooking dinner but actually a chance to sit in peace with a magazine or a book or just to look at the trees.
“Fifteen minutes a day would be about it for most of them.”
Yes, well done. We are aware that taking care of children is time consuming. But not all women are mothers and not all mothers are so for all of their lives. Thus the experience of mothers can and will be different from that of women in general.