Home Household chores Teenage girls are burdened with household chores that keep them away from schools

Teenage girls are burdened with household chores that keep them away from schools

  • The most acute effect was felt by teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 18, according to a study by an NGO.
  • Teenage girls spend an average of more than 3.5 hours a day houseworkafter the pandemic.
  • Teenage girls yearned to return to school so they could meet their peers, according to a report by educate girls.
  • Three out of four adolescent girls continue to shoulder the burden of household chores even after schools reopen.

A new study conducted by Educate Girls, a non-profit organization, reveals that the pandemic has had a profound impact on Indian teenage girls. Not only has increasing poverty pushed them away from schools, but they are also under increased pressure from early marriage and household chores.

After the pandemic, the number of hours spent on household chores by teenage girls increased by more than an hour a day. It now averages over 3.5 hours a day.

“The pandemic affected both boys and girls, but the most acute effect was felt by adolescent girls aged 15 to 18,” the study said.

It has also alienated them from schools and their peers, which has also been compounded by a dramatic loss of income in many households.

“The findings of the study are clear – the barriers to girls’ education are greater than ever and we must tackle greater chances for these girls to go to school, not drop out and continue learning. “The impact is most acute for adolescent girls. The study also sheds light on girls’ stories and the long-term effect the pandemic has left on their lives,” says Safeena Husain, Founder and Board Member of administration of Educate Girls.

The study was conducted between November and December 2021 in rural areas of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It received responses from 3,200 girls and boys aged 5 to 18.

Get up early to do chores

School closures have deprived young girls of the ability to interact with their peers. The proportion of out-of-school teenage girls (23%) was nearly double that of out-of-school teenage boys.

Additionally, those who have returned also continue to be burdened with an increase in household chores, forcing them to balance school and domestic work.

“During the discussions, the mothers mentioned that the girls wake up earlier to do their household chores before school and even after. Boys, on the other hand, only help when they feel like it and mothers cannot always count on them to help,” the report says.

Three out of four adolescent girls will continue to shoulder the burden of household chores even when schools reopen.

“Teenage girls longed to go back to school so they could meet their peers. As schools reopen, those returning to school will need to continue to balance school and housework. For many others, returning to school will require the combined effort of their community, parents, schools, and government agencies operating in their ecosystems,” the report states.

Even before the pandemic, things were looking bad for young girls compared to their male counterparts. Teenage girls work up to 120-150% more hours than boys in Indian households, citing a 2017 report.

Girls in this age group also expressed their willingness to return to school to take a break from household chores.

“Evidence from low-income countries where inherent gender inequalities exist indicates that lockdowns have led to increased burdens of household chores for girls,” the report said.

In India, the closure of 1.5 million schools in 2020 affected an estimated 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools.

Burden of early marriage

Another Educate Girls study named Girls-Not-Wives pointed out that out-of-school girls who are overburdened at home are also being forced into marriage. According to the study, this would lead to more risks of early pregnancy, domestic violence and violence.

Poverty and financial distress have also led parents to marry off their daughters at an early age during Covid.

According to the study, 30% of girls who participated in the survey in Uttar Pradesh were already married. In Rajasthan, there has been a significant increase in the number of marriage proposals addressed to young girls.

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