Girls are doing more housework in lockdown than boys

A survey looking into the behaviour of children in lockdown has found that girls are doing more housework than boys of the same age.

A survey of 1,000 men and women aged 14-30 for the children’s charity Theirworld looked into the distribution of household chores, finding that girls have taken on the most responsibility.

Women aged between 14 and 24 are taking on the majority of the hard work, with 69% saying they’ve been cleaning more (compared with 58% of boys and men), shopping more (52%, compared with 49%), and looking after siblings more (28%, compared with 16%).

66% also said they are spending more time cooking for families since lockdown began, compared to 31% of boys and men in the same age group.

There are fears this could be reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes, as well as taking time from girls’ educations.

In the same survey, one in five girls said they were struggling, while 46% described access to quality education as a source of current concern.

‘There are reports that women’s equality could be pushed back by up to 10 years by the pandemic and this is a stark reminder that the fight for gender equality is ongoing,’ said Sarah Brown, the chair of Theirworld.

‘The findings from this study show that when girls are locked out of school they can easily become trapped in traditional household roles which can put their education in jeopardy.’

Justin van Fleet, president of Theirworld added: ‘There is no better way of creating a more equitable recovery, and subsequently more equal societies, than prioritising girls’ education.’

The charity is calling on governments to invest in better education – particularly for girls – at primary, secondary, and higher level.

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