By Amber Larsen
The ILO estimates that there are 215 million children labouring in the world. The underlying reasons for child labour are diverse, and include discernible issues such as extreme poverty and lack of access to education. However, what might not be as apparent are the gender dimensions of child labour exploitation and how these perpetuate poverty cycles.
Due to a myriad of factors, such as boy child preference, early marriage and traditional gender roles, girls suffer from greater disadvantages than boys in accessing quality education, restricting their socio-economic progress. For example, poverty can cause families to remove their children from school, and girls are at an increased risk of being removed from education to support their families. Data retrieved from Girls Discovered reveals how female youth literacy rates are lower than those for males in the same age group, in for example India (girls 74%, boys 88%), Pakistan (girls 59%, boys 79%), Nigeria (girls 65%, boys 78%), and Guatemala (girls 84%, boys 89%).[i] (more…)