Abstract The household economy remains associated with women and the market economy with men and, as feminists have so clearly demonstrated, because of the different social salience of these two economies, this has significant implications for women's citizenship. Rendering the household economy invisible was a process which is traced from the middle of the nineteenth century. Also examined is a trend over recent years to reverse this process. Greater recognition is being afforded to the household economy at the international and national levels in social policy and even within standard economics. Nonetheless empirical evidence about how women and men spend their time still shows very different patterns, despite women's increasing absorption into the market economy. The Australian data makes clear that the old patterns die hard. This once again invites raising the implications of the exploitation of women's unpaid labour by men. Given that increasing men's domestic contribution has proved so difficult to achieve a possible structural approach is canvassed.