Implications of Gendered Unpaid Domestic Work on Adolescent Girls’ Lives

Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Research in Behavioral and Social Sciences

Year: 2019


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Implications of Gendered Unpaid Domestic Work on Adolescent Girls’ Lives

Mwali Marie Merci and Roberte Isimbi



With a purpose of shining a light on the implication of unpaid domestic work on the lives of adolescents’ girls to recommend actions to address the issue; using a qualitative approach, a study on “Understanding the experiences of adolescent boys and girls living in refugee camps in Rwanda” was conducted in 3 camps hosting Congolese refugees in Rwanda.  Adolescent girls and boys from 10 to 12 years were interviewed simultaneously with their guardians and adolescent boys and girls from 13 to 15 years alone.While investigated the division of domestic work in the household through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with adolescents’ boys and girls and the guardians, there was found a gendered division of labour. Girls are overwhelmed with domestic chores compared to male peers. From this finding, there are implications put on the lives of adolescent girls affecting their education and psycho-social well-being as they get limited time for leisure, rest and revise lessons and some stay away from their families and choose passing time with their boyfriends which leads to temptations of having sex before the consenting age which harms their bodily integrity.The reasons for this problem include cultural beliefs. As explained by Gender Schema theory by Sandra Bern, children’s behaviours and assignment of responsibilities are shaped by what found being done by adults of the same gender in the society they live. In such an instance, children form schema to align their behaviour with gender norms in that society.

Keywords: Culture; Domestic chores; Gendered; Girls; Refugee camps.