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Women Still Not Independent

By Suparna Chakaraborthy

The term 'Today's Independent Women' have been re-examined in a study by Youngjoo Cha. She claims that years of growth may have given women to work in the same office as man but when it comes to home, their careers take a backseat to their husband's job.

In her study, Youngjoo Cha, Cornell doctoral candidate in sociology, found that having a husband who works 50 hours or more per week can hurt woman's careers.

The reason she claims is that women are still expected to do more housework and perform most of the care giving responsibilities, the research claimed.

Her claim is justified by a study done on 8,484 professional workers and 17,648 nonprofessional workers from dual-earner families.

Her analysis shows that overall, having a husband who works 60 hours or more per week increases a woman's odds of quitting by 42 percent. However, for husbands, having a wife who works 60 hours or more per week does not significantly affect a man's odds of quitting.

Cha says: "As long work-hours introduce conflict between work and family into many dual-earner families, couples often resolve conflict in ways that prioritize husbands' careers. Having a husband who works long hours significantly increases a woman's likelihood of quitting, while having a wife who works long hours does not affect a man's likelihood of quitting.

This effect, she claims is more dominant among workers in professional and managerial occupations, where the norm of overwork and the culture of intensive parenting tend to be strongest.

The conclusion of her study is that, the thought of Bread winning men and home making women, is still dominant.

Story first published: Monday, April 5, 2010, 11:41 [IST]