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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“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)