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Girls spend 160 Million more Hours than Boys doing household chores everyday: UNICEF

Girls between 10 and 14 years old spend twice as much time than boys, or 120 million hours more each day, doing household chores

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October 12, 2016: Girls globally spend 160 million hours each day more than boys doing household chores like washing clothes, bringing firewood and cooking, Unicef said on Wednesday.

Citing its report ‘Harnessing the Power of Data for Girls: Taking stock and looking ahead to 2030’, published ahead of International Day of the Girl on October 11, a statement by the UN agency on Wednesday said that girls between 5 and 9 years old work 30 per cent more than boys in the same age bracket.

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This workload disparity rises up to 50 percent for them as they grow older. Girls between 10 and 14 years old spend twice as much time than boys, or 120 million hours more each day, doing household chores.

“The overburden of unpaid household work begins in early childhood and intensifies as girls reach adolescence,” said Unicef’s Principal Gender Advisor Anju Malhotra.

“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,” she added.

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The report further categorises the chores by type. The task of cooking and cleaning the house tops as the underpaid work done at home by girls, with as high as 64 percent of them doing it.

The second most commonly performed task was shopping for the household (50 percent), followed by fetching water or firewood (46 per cent), caring for other children (43 percent), and other household tasks (31 per cent).

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It was also observed by the agency that two-third of the 44 indicators related to girls, marked under Sustainable Development Goals, were poorly maintained.

“Quantifying the challenges girls face is the first critical step towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality and breaking down barriers that confront the world’s 1.1 billion girls,” Unicef Chief of Data and Analytics Attila Hancioglu said in the statement. (IANS)

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Toxicity in Air Affects Children’s Brain Development: UNICEF

UNICEF has warned that air pollution affects a child's brain development

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Brain Development
According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, air pollution toxicity can affect children's brain development. Pixabay

Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has warned that air pollution toxicity can affect children’s brain development and called for urgent action to deal with the crisis gripping India and South Asia.

“I saw first-hand how children continue to suffer from the dire consequences of air pollution,” Fore, who recently visited India, said on Wednesday.

“The air quality was at a crisis level. You could smell the toxic fog even from behind an air filtration mask,” she added.

Air pollution affects children most severely and its effects continue all their lives because they have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults and lack immunities, Fore said.

Brain Development
Air pollution damages brain tissue and undermines brain development in babies and young children. Pixabay

She added that it “damages brain tissue and undermines cognitive development in babies and young children, leading to lifelong consequences that can affect their learning outcomes and future potential. There is evidence to suggest that adolescents exposed to higher levels of air pollution are more likely to experience mental health problems”.

“Unicef is calling for urgent action to address this air quality crisis,” affecting 620 million children in South Asia.

Also Read- Snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir to Help Bring Pollution Down in Neighbouring States

Schools were closed in Delhi till Tuesday because of the severe environmental situation caused by post-harvest burning of stubble in neighbouring states.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday touched 625, considered “severe plus” level. (IANS)