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20th Dec 2016

Report Finds Young Girls Spend 40% More Time Doing Household Chores Than Boys Do

Alana Laverty

A report by UNICEF has revealed that girls between the ages of 5 and 14 spend 40% more time doing chores than boys of the same age do. 

That’s 160 million more hours a day. 

These unpaid household chores include gathering firewood and water, cooking, cleaning and caring for family members – work that is often less visible and undervalued. Often adult responsibilities such as caring for family members, including other children, are imposed on girls.

The data shows that the disproportionate burden of domestic work begins early, with girls between 5- and 9-years-old spending 30% more time, or 40 million more hours a day, on household chores than boys their age. 

The disparities grow as girls get older, with 10- to 14-year-olds spending 50% more time, or 120 million more hours each day.  

“The overburden of unpaid household work begins in early childhood and intensifies as girls reach adolescence. As a result, girls sacrifice important opportunities to learn, grow, and just enjoy their childhood. This unequal distribution of labour among children also perpetuates gender stereotypes and the double-burden on women and girls across generations.”

UNICEF’s Principal Gender Advisor, Anju Malhotra

This report was released ahead of UNICEF’s International Day of the Girl on October 11. 

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