UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 7 (UPI) — Girls worldwide spend an estimated 160 million more hours per day than boys on household chores, a UNICEF report issued Friday said.
Released in advance of the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl, Oct. 11, it said girls age 5 to 14 spend 40 percent more time than boys engaged in unpaid activities including gathering firewood, collecting water, caring for family members and other tasks. The report is the first global attempt to quantify the amount of domestic work done by girls, and is part of the United Nations’ “Harnessing the Power of Data for Girls: Taking stock and looking ahead to 2030” project.
The data indicate girls between ages 5 and 9 spend 30 percent more time than boys on household domestic duties, and the disparity grows as children get older. The report notes girls’ work tends to be less visible, and typically is undervalued. Time spent on household chores limits girls’ opportunities to socialize, study and play, it said.
Girls age 10 to 14 in Somalia spend the most time per week on chores, 26 hours per week, the report said.
“The overburden of unpaid household work begins in early childhood and intensifies as girls reach adolescence,” said UNICEF’s 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.”