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Modified on 2015/05/22 10:00 by Sean Zheng Paths: Read in Order Categorized as Chapter 2 - Work
Table II.10

From gender issues to gender statistics on child work: illustrative examples


Policy-relevant questions Data needed Sources of data
Are boys employed more often than girls? Children in employment by sex and age. Child labour force surveys.
Child labour and youth employment surveys.
LFS.
Are girls engaged in household chores more often than boys? Children engaged in household chores by sex and age. Child labour force surveys.
Child labour and youth employment surveys.
Modules in other household surveys, such as DHS and MICS.
Do older girls spend the same amount of time working as older boys? Hours worked doing housework by sex and age. Child labour force surveys.
Child labour and youth employment surveys.
Is girls’ school attendance affected by long hours of work as much as boys’? School attendance by number of hours worked, sex, age and level of education. Child labour force surveys.
Child labour and youth employment surveys.

  • + Gender issues
    • Similar to their adult counterparts, girls and boys are involved in different types of work. Boys are more likely than girls to be employed and to work in hazardous conditions (United Nations, 2010). However, girls are more likely than boys to do unpaid domestic work. Long hours of work affect children’s ability to participate fully in education and to develop the basic skills necessary to participating fully in society as adults. When the time spent on household chores is very high, the school attendance of girls, especially older girls, is more affected than the school attendance of boys.

  • + Data needed
    • Child labour statistics are particularly necessary in countries where a significant number of children work in contravention of agreed international labour standards and national legislation safeguarding the interest and welfare of children (International Labour Office, 2008). However, countries should not restrict their data collection to child labour (defined as worst forms of work, work below minimum age and work in hazardous conditions). It is recommended that data collection cover all paid and unpaid activities performed by children, including unpaid household services. By so doing, the total employment of children (child labour and other work activities) and the work of children on household chores should be recorded.

      161. Several types of data are needed. They are:

      (a) Children in employment by sex and age;

      (b) Children engaged in worst forms of work, work below minimum age and work in hazardous conditions (child labour) by sex and age;

      (c) Children engaged in household chores by sex and age;

      (d) Hours worked by children in employment and unpaid housework by sex and age.

      162. Additional breakdowns are needed in order to understand some of the causes and consequences of child work. Living in poor rural areas or urban slums and household poverty are factors usually associated with child employment and overburden with household chores. Gender differences in child employment may not be the same in rural areas and urban areas. Furthermore, as low school attendance is one of the main consequences of work burden, it is important that data on school attendance are collected and disaggregated by sex, age, labour force participation status or hours worked in employment and unpaid housework.


  • + Sources of data
    • Child labour surveys can be used to collect comprehensive information on children’s employment and on their involvement in household chores. Areas covered include types of activity performed by the child, hours of work by type of activity, school attendance of the child, health of the child, orphanhood, wealth status of the household and demographic and economic characteristics of the child and other household members.

      Household surveys, such as DHS and MICS may also include a few questions or an entire module on child work, along with questions on the demographic and economic characteristics of the child and other household members and the wealth status of the household.

      Labour force surveys may be used to collect information on employment of children over 10 years old.

      Some establishment surveys may focus on child labour.

  • + Conceptual and measurement issues
    • It is important that statistics on children’s work cover all forms of work, paid as well as unpaid activities. In particular, the inclusion of household chores in statistics on children’s work is important for obtaining a more accurate measure of the burden of work borne by girls and boys.

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