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UNICEF Reveals: African Girls Spend 40 Percent More Time On Household Chores Than Boys!

Unicef has just released a fresh report documenting the disproportionate burden of household chores between between girls and boys. Girls between five and 14 years old spend 40 percent more time on unpaid household chores and collecting water and firewood compared to boys their age, the reports says. The disproportionate burden is detrimental to the development of girls, which puts girls at risk of not reaching their full potential.

Plan International’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign in Mozambique. Photo: Plan International.

Unicef has released a report documenting the disproportionate burden of household chores between girls boys are in between girls and boy. Girls between five and 14 years old spend 40 percent more time on unpaid household chores and collecting water and firewood compared to boys their age, the reports says.

According to data, the disproportionate burden begins early, with girls between five and nine years old spending 30 percent more time on chores than boys their age, while girls between 10 and 14 years spend 50 percent more time, or 120 million more hours each day on chores.

The disparity has dire consequences on girls and they lose a valuable and big part of their childhood. Unicef’s Principal Gender Advisor Anju Malhotra says, “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”.

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A primary school girl writes on a board at the Eastview School in Caledonia, Harare, Zimbabwe, 14 March 2016. Photo: ANP/EPA/Aaron Ufumeli

A primary school girl writes on a board at the Eastview School in Caledonia, Harare, Zimbabwe, 14 March 2016. Photo: ANP/EPA/Aaron Ufumeli

The report also notes that girls’ work is less visible and often undervalued and too often adult responsibilities such as caring for family members, including other children, are imposed on girls.

Time spent on chores limits a girl’s time to play, socialise with friends, study and be a child. In some countries, collecting firewood and water puts girls at risk of sexual violence the report adds. The disproportionate burden is detrimental to the development of girls, which puts girls at risk of not reaching their full potential.

11 October is the International Day of the Girl Child and the report could not have been more timely to remind the world on the need to highlight and advance rights and opportunities for girls across the world.  The International Day of the Girl Child was inaugurated with the intention “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential”. This year’s theme is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls” and Africa will join the world celebrate a day to highlight the importance of empowering and nurturing girls to achieve global development.

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Written by How Africa

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