One year of lockdown disproportionately impact girls’ education in Britain

New research reveals that two-thirds of girls are doing more cooking and cleaning in lockdown

COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on girls in Britain, with many taking on additional household chores such as cooking and cleaning, leaving them less time to do their schoolwork, according to a new survey.

Two-thirds (66%) of girls and women aged between 14 and 24 say they are spending more time cooking for their families because of the pandemic, compared with just under a third (31%) of boys in the same age group.

As we emerge from the depths of the crisis, we must renew our commitment to education, particularly for girls, and remember that there is no better way of creating a more equitable recovery, and subsequently more equal societies, than prioritising girls’ education.

Justin van Fleet, President of Theirworld

The research by global children’s charity Theirworld and Hall & Partners found they are spending more time doing stereotypical household chores such as shopping (52%), cleaning (69%) and caring for siblings. The study also suggested that it is not just academic performance which is at risk. One in five girls said that not attending schools was also having a negative impact on their mental health.

Our new study suggests that while the disruption to education over the past year is affecting all school children in the UK, the impact on girls is greater than on boys. The findings will renew calls for governments to put education, especially for girls, at the heart of their responses to the pandemic, amid fears that COVID-19 will undo decades of progress for girls and women.

The unprecedented crisis of the pandemic brings the opportunity to focus minds on reimagining education for every girl and boy, and the innovative steps needed to reach every single one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which include providing a quality education to every child and achieving gender equality.

Sarah Brown, Chair of Theirworld
More chores for girls in the UK means less time for schoolwork
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