SUPPLEMENT: Division of Paid and Domestic Work Among Peruvian Couples

by Gloria Huarcaya and Luis A. Álvarez

Data from the 2010 ENUT (National Survey about Usage of Time) allow us to compare the division of paid and domestic work among couples in Peru to the division of labor among couples in countries that participated in the 2012 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). There were 2,075 couples surveyed in the ENUT that met the selection criteria explained in the Data and Methods section.

Women’s integration into the labor force

The first phase of women’s and men’s changing gender roles—women’s entry into the paid workforce—is reflected in the fact that more than two-thirds of women with children in Peru participate in paid work. Nevertheless, most of these women work at least seven fewer hours per week than their partners. The overall share of neo-traditional1 couples is quite large (46 percent), as Figure 1 shows. An egalitarian division of paid work occurs less frequently among couples with children in Peru (13 percent, see Figure 1) than in the Central and South American countries included in our main essay (31 percent). The traditional arrangement in which the man is the sole breadwinner is less prevalent in Peru (31 percent of couples) than in Mexico or Chile (49 percent in each country).

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Men’s integration into domestic work

For most Peruvian couples with children, male partners participate in domestic work, but women report doing at least seven hours a week more domestic work than men, as Figure 2 illustrates: 89 percent of couples choose a neo-traditional division of domestic work.2 It is very rare in Peru for men to do no domestic work (1 percent of couples), in contrast with other Central and South American countries where 13 percent of couples fit that description. Finally, in Peru, 7 percent of couples with children have an egalitarian division of domestic work, and 3 percent of couples include men who do more domestic work than their partners.

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Joint division of labor

Considering the intersection of paid and domestic work in Peru, the neo-traditional structure—in which men specialize in paid work and women in domestic tasks, but both areas of labor are shared—predominates (43 percent, see Figure 3).3 Peruvian women are less likely to carry a second shift than their counterparts in the Central and South American countries participating in the ISSP (17 percent for Peru compared with 25 percent for the region) mainly because they are more likely to work fewer paid hours than their partners. Modern arrangements (with paid and domestic work shared equally) and men carrying the second shift are also less common in Peru, but the prevalence of completely traditional arrangements resembles the rest of the region (about 30 percent).

Overall, there is limited evidence of both women’s integration into the labor force and men’s integration into domestic work in Peru.

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1 The same four categories examined in the essay were included in these analyses: traditional (he works for pay, she doesn’t), neo-traditional (both do paid work, but he works at least seven hours a week more than she does), egalitarian (the gap between their paid work hours is less than seven), and reverse traditional (she works at least seven hours a week more than he does).
2 As in the essay, the four categories for the division of domestic work are: traditional (he does none), neo-traditional (both do domestic work, but she does at least seven hours a week more than he does), egalitarian (the gap between domestic work hours is less than seven), and reverse traditional (he does at least seven hours a week more domestic work than she does).
3 There are five categories for the joint division of work: traditional (she does no paid work, but more domestic work), neo-traditional (he does more paid work and she does more domestic work), her second shift (she does at least as much paid work as he does, and more domestic work), his second shift (he does at least as much domestic work as she does, and more paid work), and modern (she does not have less paid work and does not do more domestic work than he does).

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