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Millions of adolescent youths shoulder significant household and caregiving responsibilities, especially during the pandemic. Experts estimate that the number of young people in caretaking roles at home has increased from 1.4 million in 2005 to over 3.4 million today. This work is unpaid, unrecognized, and understudied; and it is disproportionately carried out by girls, particularly girls of color. 

We set out to understand more about this critical issue in a new report, Indispensable But Overlooked: A Research Review of Girls’ Caretaking and Household Responsibilities and Their Effects on Girls’ Lives.

Our research review examines a range of studies and finds that girls’ roles at home form a significant but invisible part of the care economy, which has substantial effects on their childhood, especially their experiences in school. 

  • On average, girls spend 45% more time on household chores than boys. 
  • Latina girls have been shown to engage in household work at almost twice the rate of Latino boys: 73 percent of Latina girls compared to 37 percent of Latino boys.
  • One of the most significant gender gaps has been identified among Black youth: 60 percent of Black girls reported that they performed household tasks compared to 8 percent of Black boys.

Notably, girls’ household tasks have a significant impact on their education, affecting their ability to complete homework, decreasing their involvement in extracurricular activities, or even pushing girls out of school altogether. 

Read more findings from the full report now.