Gendered time, gendered life in Hong Kong


Principal Investigator: Muzhi Zhou


The gendered time use pattern, reflected by women's much greater amount of time spent on housework and care, is the key to understanding the deeply rooted differentiated expectations for women and men. Studies of western societies have shown that welfare systems, e.g. family and childcare policies, play an important role in shaping gender relations. We know little about whether the relationship between the welfare systems and gender relations could also be applied to societies in East Asia, where the gender traditionalism is often stronger. There are also great heterogeneities within East Asia, where countries have distinct historical paths and levels of socioeconomic development.

This project aims to include time use data from Hong Kong with those from China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and western societies to form the largest systematic knowledge on gendered time use and produce new insights into the role of the state in shaping people's daily lives. The case of Hong Kong is indispensable and unique given its previous colonial history, its current political stand, the merge of the western and eastern culture, the geographical affinity to mainland China, a huge number of immigrants, and the prevalence of hiring domestic helpers.

This project has its own independent research agenda but also complements an ERC-funded project (GenTime) and works as a seed to induce more comparative studies in the Greater China area.