Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation aims to provide contextual understanding of the persistence of gender inequality at home from a comparative perspective. Although the equality between men and women has been considered desirable and mostly achieved in the domain of paid labor in most industrial societies, unpaid labor in the domestic sphere is one of the most obstinate realms of gender inequality. Previous comparative research on housework provides valuable insights into the mechanism underlying the gender division of household labor and has revealed that both micro- and macro-level gender equalities play a key role in explaining the gender division of household labor. Building on prior empirical research and theories explaining cross-national variations in gendered housework and family life, I argue that the shift toward greater gender equality at both individual- and country-levels is the key in leading to the equal division of household labor, reducing work-family conflict, and achieving satisfactory family life. To achieve this goal, this dissertation investigates the relationship between the division of household labor, work-family conflict, and family life satisfaction across countries, with a particular emphasis on individual- and country-level gender equalities. The findings overall demonstrate that gender equality at both levels is an important factor in configuring lower levels of work-family conflict and higher levels of family life satisfaction, and that the relationship between housework, work-family conflict, and family life satisfaction varies by country-level gender equality. This dissertation contributes to the comparative housework literature and also provides support for the argument that societal and political development should be in line with greater gender equality.

Committee Chair

Kamo, Yoshinori