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Girls spend time doing household chores such as cooking, cleaning, and caring for family members.
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Girls Saddled With Unpaid Household Work

Girls between 5 and 14 years old spend 40% more time, or 160 million more hours a day, on unpaid household chores and collecting water and firewood compared to boys their age, according to a report released by UNICEF ahead of International Day of the Girl on October 11.
‘Harnessing the Power of Data for Girls: Taking stock and looking ahead to 2030’ includes the first global estimates on the time girls spend doing household chores such as cooking, cleaning, caring for family members and collecting water and firewood.
The data show that the disproportionate burden of domestic work begins early, with girls between 5 and 9 years old spending 30% more time, or 40 million more hours a day, on household chores than boys their age. The disparities grow as girls get older, with 10 to 14 year olds spending 50% more time, or 120 million more hours each day.  
 “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 report notes that girls’ work is less visible and often undervalued. 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, socialize with friends, study and be a child. In some countries, collecting firewood and water puts girls at risk of sexual violence.
The report also found that girls between 10 and 14 years old in South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa spend nearly double the amount of time on household chores compared to boys.
The countries where girls between 10 and 14 years old bear the most disproportionate burden of household chores compared to boys are: Burkina Faso, Yemen and Somalia.
In Somalia, 10 to 14 year-old girls spend the most amount of time on household chores in total: 26 hours every week.
“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,” said UNICEF Chief of Data and Analytics Attila Hancioglu.
In addition to household chores, the report presents data on girl-related issues addressed by the SDGs including violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and education. Achieving the SDGs that address these issues and empowering girls with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to reach their full potential, is not only good for girls, but can drive economic growth, promote peace and reduce poverty.

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