Gender pay gap linked to unpaid chores in childhood
Young women and girls’ time spent in unpaid household work contributes to the gender pay gap, according to new research from the Universities of East Anglia (UEA), Birmingham and Brunel.
The research shows women’s later employment participation is affected by taking on the weight of this care burden in childhood, thus adding to existing inequality gaps in the study countries.
The study, ‘The contribution of girls’ longer hours in unpaid work to gender gaps in early adult employment: Evidence from Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam’, is published today in the journal Feminist Economics.
The research team examined data from the Young Lives project, a longitudinal cohort study of childhood poverty following the lives of 12,000 children from India, Ethiopia, Peru and Vietnam. The India sample data is from the states Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.
Following the lives of children from the age of 8 to 22, the research team analysed employment participation in any paid work and any sector (including agriculture), type of employment and wages.
According to UNICEF, girls spend 40 per cent more time on household chores than boys. Unequal shares of household care work are highly consequential for girls and linked to wider inequalities such as access to piped water, which shapes the amount of necessary work.
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