Research states the first few years of both boys and girls show a lot of similarity. According to a new study by UNICEF, both boys and girls tend to mentally develop at approximately the same rate. Both genders can also start school at the same age as well. However, the study notes that as soon as girls grow old enough to be able to perform some household chores gender disparities start to occur.
The current study states that 50% more time is spent by girls doing chores compared to their brothers. This gap is even wider in areas such as the Middle East, South and North Africa. The girls aged five to fourteen end up spending double the time doing chores. All of the hard work that these little girls perform doesn’t help to build their character.
According to the study, by making girls do chores such as cleaning, caring for others, and preparing food, etc. set the stage for even more unequal burden later in life. It can also serve as a limitation of their outlook and prevent them from harnessing their true potential at a very young age.
All of these chores lead to the girls thinking that they aren’t fit to do anything else. Furthermore, the chores that these girls do, such as fetching water, cleaning and cooking, are also not considered as valuable as other tasks that might bring money to the family. This leads to the girls feeling a decrease in their self-esteem and their own worth.
The results of the current study show that girls aged five to fourteen, from around the world, spend a total of 550 million hours per day doing household chores. This is 106 million hours more than what boys invest in doing their tasks at the same age.
Coming to the three countries that have the highest involvement of girls in doing chores around the house, more than 50% of the girls invest 14 hours on doing chores each week. About two-thirds of the girls around the globe help prepare food and perform cleaning duties. A total of 50% give a hand with shopping, and firewood or water is fetched by 46%. Other children are taken care of by 43% of the girls.
Too much focus on performing household chores has a negative effect on the lives of girls and ultimately their futures when compared to the boys. Each hour that girls end up spending doing chores takes away from the time they could be spending in order to make friends, playing or doing their schoolwork.
According to UNICEF, by typecasting girls at such a young age it becomes difficult for them to close the gaps present in employment and education, along with what their society expects them to do as they grow older and become women.
Even though, between the years 2006 to 2015, a quarter of a billion females have entered the global labor force their annual pay has only now become equal to what men used to earn 10 years ago. The study says that when a woman earn her very first dollar her choice of occupation is a result of years of education, expectations of the ones who raised her, guidance, the firm’s practices regarding hiring, and other factors she doesn’t have direct control over.
According to UNICEF, the gender disparities can be reduced through the equal distribution of household chores. Doing this, and encouraging girls to stay at home, have an interest in sports and other leisure activities, can help promote equal gender rights around the globe.