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Girls spend 40% more time doing chores than boys, according to a new UN report

The UN children’s agency said the difference between the genders amounts to 160 million extra hours a day worldwide.

Image: Shutterstock

GIRLS SPEND 40% more time carrying out unpaid household chores than boys, according to a new report from Unicef.

The UN children’s agency said the difference between the genders amounts to 160 million extra hours of labour a day worldwide.

Two out of three girls worldwide cook and clean in the home, while almost half collect water or firewood, the report finds.

Girls also perform more “less visible” domestic work like childcare or looking after the elderly, Unicef adds.

The disparity between the genders also increases with time: between ages five and nine, girls spend 30% more time on chores than boys.

By the age of 14, the difference rises to 50%, or one-and-a-half as much as boys.

Tasks such as gathering water or firewood can also put young girls at increased risk of sexual violence, the report found.

Somalia Hunger A Somali refugee girl carries firewood on her head in the capital Mogadishu last month. Source: Farah Abdi Warsameh

Girls in Somalia aged 10-14 years old spend 26 hours a week on household chores – the most of any country.

Burkina Faso, Yemen and Somalia have the most disproportionate burden of household chores for girls between 10 and 14 years old bear compared to boys.

Unicef’s Anju Malhotra said: ”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.

“The overburden of unpaid household work begins in early childhood and intensifies as girls reach adolescence.”

The report, which also includes data on violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and education, is being released to coincide with the UN’s international day of the girl child on 11 October.

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