The inappropriate burden of of household chores begins in early childhood and increase over time
Women face multiple personal or professional challenges throughout their life. One of them is gender inequality which seems to start at the very early stages of their life.
Ahead of International Day of Girl Child on 11 October, United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF has released a report suggesting that female child are asked to do a lot more work around the house than boys.
The report shows that girls between 5 and 14 years old spend 40% more time or 160 million more hours than boys doing household chores every day. The daily activities include cooking, cleaning, collecting water or firewood and taking care of family members. This unequal share of housework keeps them busy even in those times that should be spent in playing, studying or simply living as a child and this disparity seemingly grows as girls get older.
“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 labor among children also perpetuates gender stereotypes and the double-burden on women and girls across generations.”
The inappropriate distribution of housework persist more in South Asian, Middle East and North Africa countries. In these areas, girls spend nearly double the amount of time on household chores compared to boys. Besides doing the lion’s share of household work, girls are also forced to perform those responsibilities that are “less visible” or taken for granted by others like caring younger siblings or other family members.
World leaders have promised to achieve gender equality by 2030 but if current trend continues, it will take far more time to make it possible. So more well directed efforts are needed to eliminate gender disparity worldwide.
UNICEF Chief of Data and Analytics Attila Hancioglu says. “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.”