The makeup of the modern family is changing. Earlier this month the new Channel 9 drama, House Husbands debuted as the most watched TV show in Australia with an estimated 1.4 million viewers tuning in to the watch the first episode. The show focuses on four families where the father is the primary care giver to the children.
Indeed while the show is often marketed as a family drama with a “twist”, it is also bringing to the spotlight a trend that is becoming more evident in modern society. As gender equality in the workplace becomes a more prominent issue, especially when it comes to pay, the shift towards more males stepping in to being the primary caregiver to children seems imminent.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), currently only about 1% of households have what would be considered “stay-at-home dads” or “house husband” arrangements. However, in addition to social barriers, there are a few legal considerations that may be keeping these numbers lower:
- Men tend to earn more than women. On the national front, men earn 17.4% more than women according to the ABS.
- Many workplaces do not grant the same amount of parental leave to fathers as they do for mothers.
Meanwhile, new federal laws around workplace equality are being considered by the upper house this month which could change these scenarios. If passed, the new laws will give more men the option of becoming primary carers when they start a family. They would also give the Australian Government more visibility into gender divides and employee makeup in companies with more than 100 employees.
Do you think house husbands are on the rise?
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