Most women struggle to be domestic goddesses – Persil reveals


In 100 years, women have gone from drudgery to equality in many areas of their lives. But how much has really changed?

Just 100 years ago women had little social freedom, fewer rights and our place was very much in the home. Since then we have been reaping the benefits of huge social changes, and today it seems fair to say we’ve have never had it so good. Or have we? A major new study of 21st century women of every generation shows that perhaps not everything has changed for the better.

Busy, versatile, confident, multi-skilled: that’s how we define ourselves as ‘modern women’, according to the report, published by Persil to commemorate its centenary. Three quarters of us agree that the introduction of automatic labour saving devices such as washing machines has lifted the burden of domesticity in the past 100 years, allowing us to be more versatile and six in ten of us think we enjoy greater freedom than our mums and grans.

It all sounds good until you consider the point that technology rather than our other halves have kept pace with the necessary changes in our lives. The research found that whether we work or not, four in ten of our husbands or partners still do less than half of the housework and one in ten don’t do any at all. That said, it is a lot better now than even fifty years ago; if you spoke to the older generations in your family, I bet they’d tell you, that at least your man knows where the washing machine is!

The research also revealed, somewhat surprisingly, that many of us wish we possessed better domestic skills, like our mothers, with over half of women in their 20s yearning to be better at sewing (56 per cent), forty percent wishing they had better skills in the kitchen and thirty seven per cent wanting to be better at cleaning.

We are yearning to embrace a new modern domesticity but feel hamstrung in part by the current economic climate. As we become increasingly attracted to spending time in the home like the poster girl for domesticity Nigella Lawson, one in four of us also say we regret our lack of traditional homemaking skills.

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to see just how far we have come and how women’s roles have changed in society as we journey from WWII to the swinging ’60s and beyond. 100 years worth celebrating.

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