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Family Matters No. 76 - June 2007

It's about time: Key findings from the women, men, work and family project

John von Doussa

Abstract

In 2007, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission released the final paper in its two-year investigation into balancing paid work and family responsibilities - "It's about time: Women, men, work and family". This article summarises the key findings of experiences in the home and the workplace, illustrated with quotes from focus group participants. Time management pressure, pay equity, parental leave, and sharing unpaid and paid work are discussed. Women still continue to carry the burden of aged parent care, child care, and housework, but those men who choose part time work or to stay at home so as not to miss out on family life report facing discrimination and prejudice. This article concludes by outlining the Commission's legislative proposals to support working and caring across the life cycle, including a proposed Family Responsibilities and Carers' Rights Act.

In 2007, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission released the final paper in its two-year investigation into balancing paid work and family responsibilities - "It's about time: Women, men, work and family". This article summarises the key findings of experiences in the home and the workplace, illustrated with quotes from focus group participants. Time management pressure, pay equity, parental leave, and sharing unpaid and paid work are discussed. Women still continue to carry the burden of aged parent care, child care, and housework, but those men who choose part time work or to stay at home so as not to miss out on family life report facing discrimination and prejudice. This article concludes by outlining the Commission's legislative proposals to support working and caring across the life cycle, including a proposed Family Responsibilities and Carers' Rights Act.

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