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BBC Woman’s Hour Housework Survey

Public poll looking at household chores for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour



Women spend on average nearly twice as much time as men on housework, according to a ComRes poll commissioned by Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for a special week of programmes to launch the Woman’s Hour Chore Calculator.

By their own estimations, women spend eleven and a half hours doing housework each week, compared to an average of only 6 hours per week for men.

86% of women polled said they were responsible for changing the bedsheets, while 83% said they were responsible for cleaning the toilet. 80% of men said they were mainly responsible for taking out the bins, with 68% saying they did the DIY.

The nation’s least favourite chores are cleaning the toilet (according to 35% of respondents) and ironing (29%). Cooking is the favourite (45%).


Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey says: “Times have changed. Women are no longer trapped in the home. They can go out to work then come back and start the housework.”

Adam Ludlow of ComRes adds: “These results indicate there is a clear divide between the sexes when it comes to housework. It’s also interesting to note that in polls of this kind, men tend to be bolder in their claims often leading to overestimation whereas women tend to be more cautious and err on the side of underestimation.”


In Monday’s edition of the programme, Jane Garvey will launch the Chore Wars calculator, a specially created online quiz that enables listeners to calculate the division of responsibilities in their house.

She will also talk to a range of studio guests about the implications of the ComRes poll. The guests will also consider a 1947 Gallup poll into how much men “help with housework” to find out how things have changed over the generations. The Gallup poll asked of men: “do you ever help with the housework?” 76% said they did. When women were asked, 69% said the men in their homes did.

The Woman’s Hour ComRes survey found that one in four couples living together (27%) argue about household chores at least a few times a month, with this being especially the case among younger couples.


Alice Feinstein, Editor, Woman’s Hour says: “Woman’s Hour has always been interested in exploring the reality of people’s daily lives and now we are shining a light on who’s doing what at home and finding out how they feel about it. This survey suggests household chores are a source of strife for some couples, so I’m looking forward to some lively discussion and debate on the programme about the impact that chores have on people’s relationships, and how this impact might differ across age range and social class. And of course I hope people log on to the website and have some fun with our Chore Wars calculator.”

To find out if you’re a Slacker, a Superhuman or a Trophy Spouse, take the Woman’s Hour Chore Wars calculator challenge by visiting


Date Published: 06/10/2014

Categories: Media | Public and communities | Social | UK

Client: BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour


ComRes interviewed 1,001 British adults by telephone between 29th and 31st August 2014, as well as an additional 540 GB adults co-habiting with a partner between 29th August and 7th September, taking the total number of adults living with a partner to 1,072. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults.

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