Author (Greek version): Maria Kakouri
Translation: Maria Ourani
Editor: George Kitsaras
Nowadays, people have a special relationship to their free time. They have achieved, at least in writing, to work eight hours a day with the rest of their time free to enjoy their personal interests and lives. This is however a well-structured utopia since work is not the only thing that constrains people’s free time with countless obligations eating away that cherished free time every single day.
Obligations are ever present for both genders. However, here we will focus specifically on women. Equality is a dynamic concept with daily struggles constantly reiterating women’s position in society. Women’s rights have certainly improved over the years especially in comparison to older times. However, in our modern societies, much like in those older times, the majority of household and child rearing activities fall in the shoulders of women. That view might be challenged from some younger and more progressive couples but that is only a small percentage of all couples.
Research on women’s free time showcased two main types: on one hand, women who focus their attention to matters outside the domestic sphere and household activities and on the other hand, women you are preoccupied mainly with domestic and household activities. An important finding from that research study is that in both cases women considered and treated their free time as a personal pleasure rather than an obligation even in the case of the more domestic oriented cases (Koroneou, 1996). It is not known, from this particular piece of work, whether women who chose to spend their time in household activities originally chose that preoccupation for their free time or whether that was forced to them by societal stereotypes and outside expectations.
There are many names that people use for both types of women “housewives, career-oriented etc.”. Nevertheless, the case of both types of women highlight the variety of activities and dedication to those activities that women across the world showcase every single day. Whether women spend their free time doing household activities or travelling and enjoying a day out with friends what is true is the need for a balance between work and personal life. Obligations never stop however each one of us, especially women with their extremely busy and extensive responsibilities, need to be able to move away from things they “must” do and focus more on those things they “want” to do!
Koroneou, A. (1996). Women’s leisure and the family in Greece: between tradition and modernity. Women, leisure and the family in contemporary society: a multinational perspective., 209-217.