A peer-reviewed study by researchers from the universities of East Anglia (UEA), Birmingham, and Brunel, published in the journal Feminist Economics suggests that domestic chores undertaken during childhood affect the share of womens participation in the workforce. Young women in India and other low-income countries spend a large share of their time doing unpaid household work, which contributes to the gender pay gap they face later in life, found the study.Researchers found that by the age of 22, women were less likely to be engaged in paid work, and earned less than men in low- and middle-income countries. This disparity, according to the study, is partly due to the larger share of household responsibilities young women shoulder as children. At all ages, boys spend less time in caring and chores than girls but more time in tasks: at age 19 women spent 3.66 hours a day and men 1.34 hours, on average, in caring and chores. Men spent more time (1.83 hours) on tasks than women (0.94 hours), but this does not compensate for the overall disparity in unpaid household work, the study said.Unequal participation in household work starts at a young age, widening differences over time suggest gendered trajectories, said Nicholas Vasilakos, an associate professor at the UEA who was among the researchers involved in the study. Fiona Carmichael, a professor at the Birmingham Business School who was also part of the study, added, Longer hours of unpaid household work that reduces girls time for study may therefore limit their future lives by constraining employment opportunities. This confirms that the care burden to women of their greater share of household work starts back in childhood. The study found that at the age of 22, women in India, Ethiopia, Peru, and Vietnam were already facing a gender gap in employment participation 85.72 per cent of men versus 70.64 per cent of women.The study also found that in the case of young women, longer hours of household work during childhood led to a greater adverse effect on their employment opportunities compared to men. In contrast to men, employment for women in these countries was likely to be driven to a greater extent by lack of choice or by need, and is characterised by fewer opportunities for well-paid, high-quality jobs.Researchers examined data collected as part of the Young Lives Project a longitudinal cohort study of childhood poverty following the lives of 12,000 children from India, Ethiopia, Peru, and Vietnam. In India, data for the project was collected from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.